Palestinian pupil becomes more confident about his future
Without these remedial classes, I don't think that my dream of becoming an English teacher would be possible, Yassin Al Agha said.
Yassin Al Agha is a pupil in Sixth grade in Khan Yunis, western Gaza Strip. Yassin is living with his parents and twelve siblings in a small house.
“It is always difficult to study in our home because it is noisy all the time and also no electricity most of the time” Yassin explained.
Yassin heard from his classmates at school about the Remedial Classes project being implemented by Palestine Save the Children Foundation (PSCF). He went to PSCF with his younger brother Ahmed, asking them to take part in the project.
Accordingly, PSCF examined all students to assess their needs. Yassin got very low marks in this exam and was one of the 536 pupils chosen to participate in the remedial classes.
PSCF in partnership with Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) started the Remedial Classes project in September 2013. The project is aiming to strengthen children with knowledge and skills to catch up with their learning, and to make use of opportunities to develop themselves and their schools.
The children in the Gaza Strip are facing lots of threats in their everyday lives. They are always vulnerable to fears, stress, and many other psychological problems due to the repeated invasions, incursions, shelling and airstrikes by the Israeli military. At the end of 2008 and 2012, Israel waged two wars on Gaza Strip and killed more than 440 children. Also, lots of children have to stop studying at school to work and support their families. Since Gaza has been under siege since 2006, unemployment rates have soared, and about 80% of Palestinian families are depending on humanitarian aid.
The Remedial Classes project is aiming to give the children of Gaza tools to deal with these threats so that they can live, succeed, and participate fully like other pupils.
Many schools in the Gaza Strip are operating in two shifts because of the shortage of schools and the increasing of number of pupils each year. Yassin's shift at school is from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and he is going to the PSCF center three times a week in the morning. The assistant teachers are helping Yassin and his classmates to study and focus on the subjects of Arabic, English and Mathematics.
“Now, I am doing my homework at the PSCF center before I go to school. I can concentrate and do it correctly” Yassin expressed.
Improved skills and confidence
On the midterm exam, Yassin got 18 out 20 in English subject.
"I still remember how much time he took to start writing English words from left to right not the opposite like in Arabic”, the English assistant teacher Nehal Hammad shared.
Project psychologist Athar Mahdi thinks that Yassin managed to minimize his fears and positively contributed in the team of student.
“When Yassin joined the project, I noticed that he has a fear of loud sounds. After the psychological support sessions, he shared with me the fears that he had after his painful experience with shillings and airstrikes where he lives during the “Pillar of cloud” war in November 2012”.
Yassin has gotten used to dropping by the center whenever he has a question. One time, he also brought his friend who wasn't able to understand a specific topic in mathematics.
“Usually we found lots of pupils with creative ideas and special skills but they always need supporting and encouraging,” The animator Hoda Abu Meddin concluded.