Palestinian Teachers’ Day 2022
Today is Palestinian Teachers’ Day, a time to recognize all those who play an integral part in the development of children, such as Anera’s program officer in Gaza, Suad Lubbad. “Having a personal mission to invest in the development of young children to reach a better tomorrow for Palestine has inspired me to persevere in my career,” she says.
With a PhD and a strong background in human development and early childhood, Suad understands that with attention and care, Gaza’s students can thrive. “Children in Palestine are always in need of care, love and motivation to use their full potential in the future. Especially, since we live in a war-prone place.”
As the lead of Farms to Fosool, our project that works with local farmers and schools to provide children with meals, Suad says the impact of the program is immense. “The rewarding part are the smiles the children and their families get when they receive meals they can’t otherwise afford.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Farms to Fosool spearheaded by Suad.
Palestinian Teachers’ Day 2021
by Sulieman Mleahat
This day is the perfect moment to salute a special group of Palestinian educators. Seventeen remarkable teachers from five Nablus-area preschools have come together for their first specialized training on early childhood development (ECD).
I am thrilled with the level of education and commitment among the teachers in this training group. They choose to work in preschools because they see the value of early childhood development and of giving back in the places they live. This is a sign that preschool education in Palestine has come a long way in the last decade.
Anera launched our ECD program in Palestine in 2011 to improve education for children during their most formative years. School facilities are improving all the time – Anera alone has built or renovated 208 preschools. Parents are more involved in their children’s education. And the ministry of education, with help from Anera, has standardized a national preschool curriculum.
But perhaps what is most exciting to me is the change I see among the teachers. It used to be the case that working in a preschool was merely seen as a stepping stone to other opportunities. The job didn’t have a high bar for qualifications. It also didn’t pay well.
Now, with this group of teachers in Nablus, I see 17 women who are working at schools that Anera built in their villages. They earn higher wages and they view themselves as providing a vital service to children who really need them. One teacher told me that, without the new school and its dedicated teaching staff, those children who are now learning would otherwise be out on the streets.
There currently are no specialist ECD degrees in Palestine. This is where Anera comes in. We train and mentor teachers on better empathizing with children, questioning their own teaching approaches, and creating a space for their young students to learn and grow.
The teachers in this training group have embraced a whole range of good skills they are ready to take back to their classrooms, from handling emotionally difficult situations to reading stories with a tone that resonates with children. They are excited to move away from a didactic approach to teaching, instead giving children the space to learn at their own pace. These teachers are actually coaches – and they have worked that way with each other. The training program gave each teacher the time to reflect – with her peers – on what she does in her classroom and how she can improve things moving forward.
The teachers I work with are Palestinian. The trainers are Palestinian too. They’re grounded in what works in Palestinian education. And now we have a group of people who are going to stay with Palestine’s early childhood development sector. They are our future trainers and government supervisors. And I salute them on this Palestinian Teachers Day.
Thank you to the Ghiath and Nadia Sukhtian Foundation for funding the construction of four beautiful new preschools in the Nablus governorate: in Deir El Hatab, Bazariya, Nassariya and Till. These preschools create jobs for local teachers and give preschool-aged children a good start on learning for life.
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