President issues National Law of Reading

ABU DHABI, — In an unprecedented, civilised and legislative gesture for the region, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued the first-ever National Law of Reading, that sets legislative frameworks, executive programmes and specific government responsibilities to establish the value of reading in the UAE.

The law aims to support human resources development and contribute to building mental and cognitive capabilities, while support national intellectual production and build knowledge-based societies in the country.

The law will institutionalise all efforts to enhance reading in the community, said President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, while confirming that it aims to invest in humans and establish the UAE’s image as an inspirational model in the region.

The law aims to make learning a lifelong process for all segments of the society and promote the intellectual and cultural assets for the UAE’s citizens, the president pointed out.

Reading and knowledge are the real foundations for genuine development and concerted efforts should be made to ensure the success of this law, he added.

“Our goal is to prepare generations which work towards excelling and achieving the vision of the UAE, which since its inception, has recognised the importance of knowledge, science and culture, and harnessed them in the best interests of the homeland and the Emiratis,” His Highness said.

While expressing his pride at the law, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “The law has the same cultural value as reading, and transforms it to an integrated government project.”

He also celebrated the imposition of the law at his office in Emirates Towers in the presence of a number of winners of the Arabic Reading Challenge in the UAE.

“While drafting the law, we depended on international legal experiences bearing in mind that its articles would reflect our local heritage and Arab identity,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that reading is the right of all members of society and guaranteed by law since early childhood. The law, the first legislation of its kind, obliges the government to intervene early to enhance reading through provision of a knowledge bag for new-borns and children, he added.

“We seek to promote reading and knowledge in schools, universities, foundations, homes and across the state,” he noted.

“Our goal is to make reading a daily habit for the people and competent institutions should translate the law into reality,” he also indicated.

The law acquires exceptional importance as a comprehensive law on the national level. It highlights the country and its leadership’s interest in human development, and to develop the cultural assets of its citizens in order to prepare and rehabilitate well educated generations that are able to establish intellectual Emirati legacy which would enable the country to occupy a prominent position among the economies of knowledge-based countries.

The law also covers all issues relating to the development of reading and publishing to ensure continuity of reading and the cultural effort taken to institutionalise public efforts.

Source: Emirates News Agency