Evaluations to select the UAE’s Arab Reading Challenge winner to begin Sunday

Over 1,430 UAE schools join an exceptional 5th ARC edition

Evaluations to select the UAE’s Arab Reading Challenge winner to begin Sunday

  • 452,000 students guided by 1,435 supervisors from UAE schools compete alongside 21 million students from 51 countries in the biggest ARC edition
  • 157 committee members to hold student evaluations remotely


UAE, Dubai, 12 September 2020: National qualifications will officially begin on Sunday to select the UAE’s Arab Reading Challenge winner among 452,000 participating students.

The 5th edition of the Arab Reading Challenge attracted 21 million students from 51 countries with the passion for reading to develop analytical and creative skills needed for the young generation to build successful lives.

A specialized committee of 157 experts and specialists will remotely evaluate public and private school students who have read 50 books over the past year. Students will be shortlisted based on their critical thinking and analytical skills, comprehension of text, communication, clarity of thought and self-expression.

Besides declaring the national winner, the committee will also select the outstanding supervisor out of 1,435 educators and teachers who have guided the participating students throughout their journey in the Challenge, and pick the UAE’s best school out of 1,430 participating schools.

The winners will represent the UAE in the semi-finals to be held in the next few months.

Digital solutions

Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, said the Challenge continues its mission to build enlightened and innovative generations with a sense of belonging to their countries despite obstacles imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The keenness of the organizing team to carry on this message in the Arab world combined with the willpower of youth to read despite difficult circumstances are achievements to celebrate on their own right.”

The Challenge, she said, has successfully adapted to the ongoing global health emergency to make participation easier for students and judging committees. Digital platforms have been formed for training, reading support and panel interviews. ARC paper passports have been replaced with an electronic version to be downloaded and printed, enabling students to write the summary of the book they read.

The competition gets fiercer as the Challenge approaches the finals. Al Muhairi stressed that every student who participated is a winner. “The effort to participate and compete for the major win reflects many positive attributes that show us that the Challenge is firmly established and widely spread beyond a national level to the Arab world at large”

Al Muhairi urged participating students to make reading a lifestyle, even beyond the Challenge, and called on winners who reach the finals to work hard for their goals and have faith in their ability to succeed. She stressed that doors are always open for students to participate in the challenge that acts as the main catalyst to encourage young people to continue reading and employing the skills they have learned towards shaping a better future.



Annual milestone

Muna Al Kindi, Secretary General of the Arab Reading Challenge, said the UAE’s advanced digital infrastructure has enabled hundreds of thousands of students in public and private schools across the country to participate in the Challenge as social distancing and remote learning continue globally in a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

“The rise in the number of participating schools, which reached to 1,430 schools in the UAE this year, highlights the significance of the Challenge for students, parents and educational institutions despite the pandemic. The overwhelming participation indicates that the Challenge has become an annual milestone that avid readers look forward for.”

Al Kindi praised the collaboration among all educational zones, authorities and schools across the country to increase the Challenge’s outreach, helping build an effective national reading movement.

Past edition

Last year’s edition saw Mezna Najeeb, a grade 5 student of Al Ebdaa Model School in Dubai, declared as the UAE winner of the Arab Reading Challenge, while

Wedad Mohammed Al Shehhi won the Outstanding Supervisor award and Al Rams Primary School in Ras Al Khaimah bagged the UAE’s Best School award.

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