“I am afraid that there will be more harassment from Israeli settlers after the war in Gaza.” ~Mohammad, teacher at Imneizil school

IN PALESTINE, THE OBSTACLES TO RECEIVING AN EDUCATION ARE NUMEROUS. CHECKPOINTS, MILITARY PRESENCE, SETTLER ATTACKS, TREACHEROUS ROADS, CLOSED MILITARY ZONES, DEMOLITION ORDERS, AND VIOLENT CLASHES ARE ONLY A FEW.  BUT STUDENTS & TEACHERS PERSEVERE DAILY IN THEIR JOURNEY TO RECeivE QUALITY EDUCATION.  WE BRING THESE FACES TO LIFE AND SHARE THEIR HOPES, CHALLENGES, AND DREAMS in our Final post in our Back to school 2014 series.

Mohammad Ed’ass, English teacher at Imneizil school. Photo EAPPI/E. Maga-Cabillas.

Mohammad Ed’ass, English teacher at Imneizil school. Photo EAPPI/E. Maga-Cabillas.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I fear that the future will be very difficult. The war in Gaza and the peace accord would make Israeli settlers and Israeli army more aggressive, and the Palestinian people will suffer.   The school is located very near to the Beit Yatir Settlement with only a barbed wire fence separating it from the school. It is also close to Beit Yatir checkpoint where some children are passing through every day. I see now more difficulties coming, financially and politically. And our freedom in moving forward for the future will be restricted even more than before.

What are your biggest challenges in going to school?

I am living far from the school. Every day, I expect difficulties or bad things to happen. For instance, I expect that there will be more verbal harassment from Israeli settlers.

What is needed for education to thrive in Palestine?

There must be some changes to the educational system in Palestine, like the curriculum. There are too many courses for the students. I would like to suggest only to focus on three areas such as: Arabic, English and an open course, which is the choice of the teacher, what he thinks is needed for the class. To give you an example, we, the teachers need more knowledge in information technology and we need more education in pedagogical skills. We need to upgrade our skills in general, equipping both the teachers as well as the students.

*Read more testimonies from this year’s Back to School series.
*Share the series on facebook with your friends.

*Check out last year’s photo essay: Visualizing Back to School in Palestine.

“I want to teach children. I love to teach!” ~Kawthar, Al Quds University in Yatta

IN PALESTINE, THE OBSTACLES TO RECEIVING AN EDUCATION ARE NUMEROUS. CHECKPOINTS, MILITARY PRESENCE, SETTLER ATTACKS, TREACHEROUS ROADS, CLOSED MILITARY ZONES, DEMOLITION ORDERS, AND VIOLENT CLASHES ARE ONLY A FEW.  BUT STUDENTS & TEACHERS PERSEVERE DAILY IN THEIR JOURNEY TO RECEIVE QUALITY EDUCATION.  WE BRING THESE FACES TO LIFE AND SHARE THEIR HOPES, CHALLENGES, AND DREAMS.

Kawthar Al-Nawajah is a student at Al Quds University, Yatta Branch. Photo EAPPI/E. Maga-Cabillas.

Kawthar Al-Nawajah (17) is a student at Al Quds University, Yatta Branch. Photo EAPPI/E. Maga-Cabillas.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I want to learn more about the history of my country and its geography. I want to have more trust in myself and become more confident in facing the future. I want to have a better future after the war and hope life be restored, especially for those people in Gaza. I really want the people to live a life with dignity.

What are your biggest challenges in going to school?

Our house is very far from school. I always take a taxi in going to school which is expensive.

What would you like to be in the future?

I want to be a teacher. I love to teach. I want to teach the children. I want to help them become literate especially on information technology like computer literacy, communication skills and to update them on different technology.

What is needed for education to thrive in Palestine?

Our education system needs to be improved. More schools are needed to accommodate new students. Schools must have better facilities with more rooms. Most classrooms are overcrowded accommodating more than fifty or almost a hundred students without proper ventilation, no lights and lack of chairs and other facilities

Teachers should be trained more to become better in their fields of specialization. They should learn more skills especially in communication and develop methods of teaching for better education. Teachers must also be fit and computer literate.

I am looking forward that there will be more scholarships and other financial assistance to help children go to school and finish their studies, like after high school they can study at college. Others did not finish high school because of poverty.

*Read more testimonies from this year’s Back to School series.
*Share the series on facebook with your friends.

*Check out last year’s photo essay: Visualizing Back to School in Palestine.