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Teaching National Identity to Non-Nationals: Indian Curriculum Schools in the UAE

Over the last decade, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made several efforts to sensitize its majority non-national population to the country’s culture and national identity and integrate them into their second home. School education has been one of the mediums used to teach non-nationals the UAE’s language, culture, and identity. However, how schools in the UAE implement these state-led national identity projects for non-nationals is yet to be studied. The paper closes this research gap and examines implementation strategies and challenges experienced by Indian curriculum schools across the UAE. The paper reveals how non-national students are absorbed into the UAE’s national identity discourses through the school curriculum, activities, and practices. Teaching and learning the Arabic language and limited social interactions with native Arabic speakers are significant challenges faced by Indian curriculum schools, which are comprised mainly of non-Emirati, non-Arab students. The paper recommends potential policies for relevant stakeholders to overcome these challenges and further integrate non-nationals into the UAE society 

Recommended citation: Nazir, I. (2024). Teaching National Identity to Non-Nationals: Indian Curriculum Schools in the UAE (Policy Paper No.73). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18502/aqf.0216

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