Education reform in East Jerusalem: Addressing the drop-out problem 2012
This project is tackling the dropout phenomena in East Jerusalem schools, mainly those run by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, as well as private schools with an overall goal “To help at-risk youth through education reform, creating a system that is held accountable to public demands”.
The project activities includes; a) Form a working group with the participation of interested individuals. b) Conduct a needs assessment of the education system in EJ to explore current teaching capacities and educational environment. Based on this study, the project will produce policy proposal to be available to stakeholders. c) Increase public awareness on the shortcomings of the education system, this will include; workshop and town hall meetings for promoting long term civic engagement. d) Provide opportunities for families and parents engagement to facilitate successful school performance, the work will be conducted in cooperation with the parent’s councils. e) Promote school and teachers awareness with the purpose of increasing school attendance in a safe and inviting environment. f) Provide coaching forums for councilors including skills for dropout prevention. g) Organize a dropout prevention awards to honor individual identified as providing significant contribution toward working with dropout students.
Four Working Group meeting provided feedback on the study and recommendations on where the project needed direction and changes.
Study on Dropout situation in East Jerusalem:
Need assessment study on the dropout situation in East Jerusalem conducted including survey to over 500 students, the final version based on the Working Group feedback, as well as recommendations from ATF and CRS. The study’s strong point is in its focus on the behavioral determinants behind students dropping out in addition to quntitive data, reasons and analysis on the problem.
Policy paper has been prepared included recommendation and means to reduce the negative affects of the problem.
Knowledge of Schools Administrations
To support the study, and prepare for technical activities such as student training and working with teachers and parents, the project team conducted schools visits, to introduce headmasters to the project and to know more about the school and the dropout situation. 11 females and 9 males attended and participated in 11 meetings.
Vocational training, private lessons, and talented course have been organized. It was a real challenge to reach commitments of the students. This problem has overcome by intensive consulting and coordination with administrators and social councilors. The attitude that controlled the process was to maximize the numbers of students as many as possible with emphasis the goals of the courses and training. Private lessons classes were conducted as well. There are three classes: one for mathematics targets the students in grade 11. English and targets the 10 males and 8 females for the 11 grade.
Families Awareness Workshop
Workshop conducted targeting the families and schools administrators to engage them in the process and to enhance relationships with students and adults in order to facilitate successful school performance. The large number of the attended parents mainly mothers who all presented actual cases in front of the officials and representatives of school’s administrators was the first time for them to participate in a public meeting or public discussions. The officials took important notes, the participants includes representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Parents’ Union and headmasters and social experts.
The project targets the dropout adult students, as the majority of this problem concentrates between the male’s adults more than the females, the share of the activities will target males with the rate of 60% - 70%. Though, the project targets the females too. The families’ awareness workshop was nearly for females and women (25 out of 38 participants). Considerable attention were given for females and guaranteed to get enroll in a two years vocational course in “telecommunication”.