By Mudassir Raja
The young students of four schools taking part in the final round of e-Nature Contest were cheered and applauded by their families and friends as they clicked for a right answer.
The final of the sixth edition of Qatar e-Nature Schools Contest 2019 and the prize distribution ceremony was held at Al Bustan Ballroom of Wyndham West Bay Hotel. The families, school managements, friends, and organisers were present in the hall to witness the final of the competition and the prize distribution ceremony.
Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Sasol, an energy company, and Friends of the Environment Centre (FEC) collaborated in organising the contest and honouring the winners with medals and cash prizes.
Held under the patronage of HE Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed al-Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, the contest – largest schools contest edition to date – saw as many as 339 participants representing 113 schools in Qatar. There were 60 government schools and 53 private schools from across Qatar.
The 2019 schools contest was launched last November. During the contest, the Qatar e-Nature organising team visited many schools to promote awareness of Qatar’s rich natural environment and encourage schools for participation. In the final round, the qualified teams competed to answer questions that tested their knowledge on Qatar’s nature and wildlife, all based on the information provided through the Qatar e-Nature mobile application.
Umm Salama Primary School for Girls, emerged as the winner of the contest. The team was awarded gold medals and vouchers with the value of QR9, 000. The second place was obtained by Lebanese school, winning silver medals and vouchers for QR6,000. English Modern School – Al Wakrah Campus came in third place, winning bronze medals and vouchers for QR 4,500 while Al Shifaa Bint Abdul Rahman Al Ansaria School for Girls came in fourth, winning vouchers for QR 3,000.
Fatima al-Obaidli, Head of Programs and Activities at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education said: “We are very pleased to witness yet another success with this year’s Qatar e-Nature Schools Contest. This social initiative is not only a model of an effective partnership between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Sasol and FEC, but also a testament to the very fruitful results of fusing education, technology, and a passion for our environment.”
Farhood al-Hajiri, Director FEC, added: “The Qatar e-Nature Schools Contest serves an important message to all members of society – that caring for and learning about Qatar’s rich environment is a shared responsibility. We thank Sasol and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for their efforts and co-operation in making the Qatar e-Nature Schools Contest a successful vehicle in conveying that message and instilling environmental awareness in our younger generations.”
Rigard Du Plessis, General Manager at Sasol in Qatar said, “We congratulate the winning teams of this year’s contest and applaud all participating teams for their efforts. I am confident that these contests will continue to evolve and elevate our younger generations and their commitment to the environment to new heights. We thank everyone who contributed both to the success of this year’s contest and to building this social initiative over the past six years. We especially thank the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the FEC for their efforts and co-operation.
“The Qatar e-Nature mobile application, a corporate social responsibility initiative launched by Sasol in co-operation with FEC in 2013, is the first smartphone application and website that aims to educate the community about Qatar’s unique environment and nature. The app is available both in English and Arabic.”
Faizel Moosa, Ambassador of South Africa to Qatar, said: “Let me say that Sasol being a South African company is following the legacy of Nelson Mandela when it comes to children. He was very fond of children. We have a big organisation in our country called Nelson Mandela Children Fund.
“Here, they are integrating technology with nature because our children are not exposed to nature these days. This is a wonderful initiative. It exposes the kids to what Qatar offers in terms of its natural habitat. I saw the children doing very well. I saw that the children very bussing and excited. The children have shown keen interest in the app as they do in technology nowadays.”
Aima al-Rashed, a Grade-VI student of Umm Salama Primary School for Girls, said: “I am very happy. I must thank my mother and teachers for their support. We are three students who won the first prize for our school. We got good knowledge and information about natural things in Qatar.”
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