16 workers benefit from Rota Arabic literacy drive

March 02, 2014 - 5:39:21 am

The trainees with officials during the conclusion of Rota’s Adult Arabic Literacy programme.

DOHA: Sixteen low-skilled migrant workers have benefited from the first ever Arabic literacy programme by Reach Out To Asia (Rota).

Rota’s Adult Arabic Literacy (RAAL) Programme, which is sponsored by Qatar Petroleum (QP), gave 16 migrant workers from Nepal, India and the Philippines the opportunity to develop their ability to effectively communicate at a basic level in Arabic in their daily activities.

The pilot Arab literacy skills course was conducted over a period of six weeks, and for this Rota partnered with Qatar University and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Centre (Al Fanar) to develop a model for teaching basic adult Arabic literacy. 

The RAAL initiative was a result of a survey carried out by ROTA, which suggested that 55 percent of low-skilled workers did not have any Arabic literacy skills, while 45 percent of workers appeared to have a fair degree of spoken Arabic with no reading or writing skills. 

“Qatar Petroleum congratulates all the workers who have completed Rota’s Adult Arabic Literacy Program and we encourage them to continue learning the language as it will undoubtedly make a big difference in their day-to-day lives. We would also like to express our gratitude to the volunteer tutors and everyone else who have contributed to the success of the program,” said Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Obaidly, Manager for Public Relations and Communications of QP.

“The Rota Adult Arabic Literacy Program was a fruitful way of supporting workers to enhance their ability to achieve their personal goals and improve their opportunities in life. We hope that by taking part in the RAAL programme, the participants were able to develop higher aspirations and an increased sense of well-being and empowerment,” said Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director of ROTA. 

The RAAL Programme was created primarily to develop the Arabic literacy and language abilities of low-skilled migrant workers in Qatar coming from diverse languages and cultural backgrounds to attain the fundamental skills of modern standard Arabic, and develop the students’ desire and commitment for continuing learning Arabic. 

The initiative’s objective is also to build strong bridges of cultural communication, and to promote tolerance among peoples and civilizations through a motivating environment that makes volunteers and students the centre of the educational process. A key feature of the programme was that it offered opportunities for seven young people in Doha, from US, Austria, Lebanon and Qatar, to take part in an experiential service learning opportunity, developing their skills and knowledge as RAAL Literacy Trainers and Champions. 

Prior to becoming trainers, the volunteers attended a one-day training programme organised by Rota, and provided by Mohammed Al Haj Mahmoud Taleb from Sheikh Abdulla bin Zeid Al Mahmoud Islamic Centre. The training covered practical information relating to teaching Arabic, communication across language barriers, and global migration. 

The Peninsula

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