Dubai / WAM
Qualifiers for the Arab Reading Challenge (ARC), will begin on March 25. Arab students in Arab and foreign countries were invited to participate in this round of the competition, and will start the process of qualifying for the finals.
Students from 44 countries, including 14 Arab and 30 non-Arab countries, are participating in the third round of the competition. This follows an announcement made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inviting any Arab student to participate, in response to a demand by thousands of Arabs around the world to be part of the competition.
The qualifiers will begin first at the school level, followed by the city and governorate-wide level and then at the country level, before making the final nation-wide round in Dubai, in October. The winner will be honoured at a grand ceremony held in Dubai in the same month.
ARC qualifiers will take around three months to complete, with each school following a specific timeline depending on the number of participants and supervisors participating.
ARC Secretary-General, Najla Al Shami, said, “Since its launch in 2015, ARC has successfully become the largest knowledge-based competition aimed at educating young Arabs about the culture of reading. It is dedicated to empowering young Arabs with knowledge, so they can give back to their communities.” Al Shamsi emphasised that schools in participating countries have received great support from educational leaders, which in turn led to productive coordination with the head office in Dubai. So far, approximately 100 million participation passports have been printed for students to write their summaries.
This year, more than 2,342 arbitrators and judges are joining the challenge at various stages. The various arbitration committees consist of teachers and mentors in educational institutions at participating countries, who are trained in accordance with ARC criteria.
The second phase of the qualifiers takes place at a governorate or city-wide level, followed by the country-wide level and finally the global qualifications in Dubai. Each stage is arbitrated by a trained committee and is followed up with by the ARC team in Dubai, which is meant to provide all necessary facilities to ensure the smoothest arbitration process possible.
The arbitration criteria is clear and specific, and assesses each student’s understanding and presentation skills. Every participant has to read 50 books, from various literary genres, that are not part of their current curriculum. They then have to summarise each book, within a specific framework, in a clear and comprehensive manner. Their skills in expressing the book’s main points, in exceptional Arabic, is essential, as well as demonstrating constructive, creative and critical thinking.