Fresh, creative approach to learning works for more than 30,000 Palestinian pupils
Placing children at the heart of their own learning has been a resounding success at 119 pilot schools in the West Bank and Gaza.
More than 30,000 children and their teachers have benefited from the programme which ran from 2013 to 2016 as part of the Education for All Package for Palestine run by UNESCO Ramallah office in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and UNRWA.
The programme trained teachers on how to plan and present their lessons in a dynamic manner with their students actively involved in their learning through information gathering, activities, communication, critical thinking, problem solving and planning.
Learning was multi-disciplinary using Arabic, art, science religion, maths, history and geography and based around themes chosen by the children which varied from the environment to child rights, animals, music, nature, peace, gender and culture.
Change brought new ideas
Children at pilot schools in the West Bank and Gaza immediately noticed the change in their teachers, school, and even community.
Khalil, 10, from the Hafeth Abdul Nabi School in Hebron who has been disabled from birth, said `Our teacher started to teach differently, giving me and my classmates inspiration and ideas for a project.`
He and his fellow students came up with the suggestion to make the school greener by planting greens in the school garden with the help of parents who provided seeds. His friend Nadia and others helped him with the group work.
He said: `I am happy that I can plant seeds and grow plants while I am in a chair. I am even more happy that nothing has to hold me back from participating and engaging with my classmates.”
Fourth grade pupils at the school learned about the seasons and fruits through songs followed by story-writing or by working together making necklaces and bracelets out of chickpeas or making drawings of seasonal plants.
In the Alestiqlal primary school in Bethlehem, Arabic class was based on a traditional wedding with students dressed up as the bride, groom, wedding guests and orchestra. Teams worked on the invitations, making sweets and providing music.
When students in the Ateel primary school in Tulkarem were asked if they wanted to go back to a traditional way of teaching their answer was a resounding ‘NO!’
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