Recently I had the honor of being asked to be part of the #10Minutes10Days initiative by #KHDA. And no, I’m not getting paid for this 🙂 So, If you don’t know who KHDA is, they are the Knowledge and Human Development Authority here in Dubai. Basically, they are the ‘boss’ of education here in a lot of ways. And, when I moved from Qatar to the UAE, I was told they were the ones that determined how ‘good the schools were’ and how we determined where to place our oldest in school. I also heard they were the big, bad boys that all of the schools were scared of.
In 2015 I began conversations with KHDA as I began my writing as a complete accident. We kept up the relationship and worked on a lot of things together over the last 7 months. But the biggest change for me was that the perception that everyone had about them was completely wrong. They weren’t these big, bad people. They were these people that wanted to see education in Dubai that would make us the best in the world. They wanted to see more involvement in the community to offer kids and parents the best choices available and also make sure that what educational institutions say they do, they do. After all, that is what we are paying for, right?
The interesting part? These guys were fun! They weren’t big, bad auditors with a clip board and a red pen. They wanted the best for the community. You could actually go and just hang out at KHDA. You could drop in and have an ice cream or relax with the team there. Take a look at what #KhaleejTimes reported recently
When I realised we were thinking the same way as me and that we mutually agreed that parental engagement was one of the most important factors in a child’s educational success then I knew that I found friends.
The idea was to get parents to start with just spending 10 minutes for 10 days reading with their child (or any important child in their life). Then, posting that pic to Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or even just email each day. But, the pledge parents ‘sign’ puts them in the challenge to make a difference for a child as well as a themselves. The cool part is that it also gives everyone that enters the chance to win a free book for themselves and their child for a whole year (great support from the team at #EmiratesLitFest )
All of you that know me, know that reading and helping to educate my girls in whatever way I can as a stay at home baba is the biggest priority for me. I want them to succeed and go further than me. I want them to know more about the world and get their imagination going.
What has become more important to me is the time that we have together. They ask questions, they are curious and interested. It has started more conversations with my girls than I ever thought possible. Even my 2 year old asks why or knows her colours and shapes because we spend time with a book.
I know that everyone works or is so busy doing so many things. My drive has been getting Babas more involved with their kids. It’s not the mum’s job to raise our kids. It’s not the nanny and its not a teacher. It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes that village is resources that we, are parents, come to rely on such as here in Dubai. Parents nowadays need ideas in small bites to help them develop a strong and lasting relationship. So doing something like this, even for 10 minutes will change your life and the life of your child.
So no, I’m not getting paid by KHDA to do this. I’m doing this because I believe in an important relationship between parents, children and their educators and I believe in KHDA are doing everything possible to not let people think they are the ‘bad guys’. I most certainly don’t see governments in this part of the world wanting to make such a difference in a way that is committed to happiness and wellbeing everywhere.
Happiness starts at home but WoW, can you imagine what that will do for our children later on?
Sign up. And, even if you don’t, take the time to make a difference. Their happiness now and later in life is your investment.