Millions of Arab viewers will watch the live telecast of the closing ceremony of the Arab Reading Challenge at 8.30pm on Monday, September 20, 2021.
The event will also be graced by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The “Best School” takes away Dh1 million award, while the “Outstanding Supervisor” will bag a cash prize of Dh300,000. The Arab Reading Champion takes home Dh500,000 cash prize, bringing the cumulated prizes to be distributed to Dh11 million.
This edition of the reading challenge attracted 21 million participants which are the highest ever number in the challenge’s history so far.
The 2019 challenge had witnessed only 13.5 million participants.
96,000 schools from 52 countries participated in the competition with contestants from 14 Arab countries and 38 foreign countries with Arab diaspora.
The current edition also drew 120,000 supervisors who assisted students to improve their reading and summarizing skills, compared to 99,000 supervisors in the fourth edition.
Tomorrow’s closing ceremony is the final stage of the Arab Reading Challenge and the Arab Reading Champion will be selected based on the ability to articulate general knowledge, critical thinking skills, communication and diversity of books selected.
Previously, the participants were evaluated at their class level in countries across the world, then school level, proceeding to the level of the educational district, directorate or governorate, leading up to selecting the top 10 students from each country before filtering down the national winners.
The students had to read and summarize 50 books to finally qualify for the challenge.
Covid posed a challenge but participants remained poised
The judging panels consisted of educational experts, assessing participants’ expressive skills, dialogue capabilities, their intelligence, depth of knowledge, and their ability to sort their ideas and present them clearly.
Due to the precautionary measures taken in response to the pandemic, qualifying rounds were conducted virtually and country-level winners were announced online.
Upcoming last leg
The Arab Reading Challenge stipulates that each participant should summarize 50 books in five reading passports (each of which has 10 pages), with each book to be summarized in one page. This year’s digitalization drive of the challenge saw the adoption of digital summaries, rather than paper.
The aim of the initiative is to enhance the importance of reading for all students, improve their knowledge, develop their comprehension and self-expression skills using sound Arabic language, and develop their self-learning skills along with honing critical and creative thinking.