Palestine Education: In Honor of the Best Teachers
The wonderful news that the Varkey Foundation’s prize for best teacher has been awarded to Palestinian elementary teacher Hanan Al-Hroub is an important reminder of just how critical education is for children facing so many challenges so early in their lives.
Childhood is meant to be a joyous experience, a time for fun and laughter. But a child’s reality is often robbed of those pleasures growing up in the over-crowded Askar refugee camp in Nablus, flooded streets of Beit Awwa in Hebron, or the rubble of destroyed homes in Gaza.
And yet, there is a place where young Palestinian children can leave that harsh world and find the comforting space to play and learn. For many, the classroom is an escape from the misery of their daily struggles and a chance to be just a child again.
For a brief time, they can forget the chronically sick parent, abusive family, over-burdened mother, murdered brother or jobless father. Sitting on the schools’ soft carpet, they forget about their thin mattress on the cold cement floor in a house or shelter in sore need of repair.
Improving Palestine Education through Early Childhood Development
Under ANERA’s ambitious early childhood development program, or ECD for short, preschools have been renovated and equipped with colorful learning tools and toys in a safe and brightly colored environment that encourages creativity.
The program has trained scores of preschool teachers who are dedicated to broadening and inspiring young minds. The smiling welcome of a talented and committed teacher is like a warm embrace for children who must endure a cold, hard life.
Under the guidance of a skilled and caring teacher, Palestinian youngsters get the chance to laugh and play, grow and develop in a safe and nurturing environment. Since its founding in 1968, ANERA has put education as a top priority in building a solid foundation for the future of Palestinian society.
Building, expanding, furnishing and renovating schools, installing playgrounds, providing accessible, quality equipment, computers, games, books and educational materials are key elements of ANERA’s ECD program. Thanks to a generous donor community, ANERA has been able to train preschool teachers, guide parents, design and deliver comprehensive vocational training courses for youth, provide scholarships, and run summer camps, transforming the lives of young Palestinians in the Middle East.
The motivation is simple: We believe that giving children the skills and capacity for critical thinking and creativity, we can help prepare them to become leaders of their community and masters of their own futures.