The schools in Bethlehem and Jericho.
The school in Bethlehem is serving about 70 students in 7 classes and the school in Jericho 40 students in 4 classes. The education is carried out in small classes with individual support for each student. The management and the entire staff are all Palestinians.
The children come from Christian and Moslem families and some live in refugee camps.
Because of learning difficulties some students in the regular schools are not able to learn from the ordinary education. Due to large classes, teachers lacking competence for special education and lack of suitable educational material. And also the turmoil in the West bank does affect the well being of the children.
Nadira Saed, principal Bethlehem/Beit Jala
Nadira Saed is a teacher in English and translation, with degrees from the Bethlehem University, and serving the SIRA school i Bethlehem since 1992.
– We take care of the students with special needs because of learning difficulties and without it they had been referred to – no education. Their ordinary schools lack resourses and the children are more or less left behind. We give the children special education consisting of “learning by doing.” And we have time to give the love and support they need to be able to learn.
-In the future we will invest in becoming a school of resource for the whole area because this is the only school here with this special skill. We share with the whole staff our learning strategies and develop the competence of the other teachers. This we could do because our teachers are experts in the field.
-This year we receive many teachers to be from the Bethlehem University and now also the Al Quds University will send students to us. The Educational Department will send teachers to observe and learn.
Salwa Shareef, principal Jericho
Salwa Shareef is a trained sociologist at the Al Quds University and is working at the SIRA school in Jericho since the mid 1990ies. She started as a social worker and substitute teacher and became the principal in 1997.
-I wish we could accept many more children in the long waiting line for the school. Another ambition is to give the children – who need more time to continue at SIRA before going back to the ordinary schools – the opportunity to stay on with us. This means we will also have to accept older children.
-Some more visions for the future are to be able to develop the important work addressing the parents and in the future to be a resource for the whole educational system.
Take part of Nadira’s presentation of the schools here.