The Opening of the Computer Literacy for Blind University Students in Ramallah
In cooperation with Al Quds Open University and the Non-governmental Development Center (NDC), The Arab Thought Forum opened the Computer Literacy center for blind students in Ramallah on April 6, 2009.
Rima Kilani, Director of Special Education, represented the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE). Ms. Kilani confirmed the ministry‘s continuous interest and efforts to provide education to all sectors of the Palestinian society, including the disabled community. She considered the opening of the center as a new achievement to Al Quds Open University and its partners.
Dr. Yonis Amro, the president of Al Quds Open University, explained that the new center in Ramallah is the third after Hebron center which benefits 80 students and Jenin center which benefits 120 students so far. He added that the university intended to expand this initiative to cover all educational areas. Amro expressed his aspirations for the consolidation of this cooperation and partnership in future projects. It is worth mentioning that through this partnership, three computer literacy centers have been established so far; In Hebron, Jenin, and most recently in Ramallah.
Abdel Rahman Abu Arafeh, the ATF director emphasized that this initiative is considered an advanced practical step for the Arab Thought Forum in serving those with special needs, following several initiatives within a theoretical framework which the ATF had already undertaken in their interest. The initiative also is strengthening the partnership among different institutions to provide services for needy people, which had resulted in the establishment of three computer labs for the blind in Jenin, Hebron and Ramallah.
Hassan Hamarsheh, representing the Non-governmental Development Center (NDC), explained that the opening of the new center is part of the Tamkeen grants which NDC has launched in November 2007, in which 28 institutions benefited with a total amount of 2.6 million dollar.
Mohammad Shaheen, the dean of students provided a presentation on the development of the project, followed by live demonstrations from two blind students.
The projects were previously launched in mid 2004 and completed in July 2005 as a first phase. The current stage started in 2008 which includes upgrading the two centers in Hebron and Jenin and establishing this new center in Ramallah.