Our Garden is Filled with Flowers and Toys
When I used to go to school to check upon my daughter Maha, a 4th grade student, I used to pass that pandemic area adjacent to the school: a piece of land filled with garbage and solid waste; its sight was despicable and the smell was severely uncomfortable to the extent that I would become very upset. Collectively, I and other mothers would share our concern with the principal of the school, but nothing else would be done.
After receiving training from the Teacher Creativity Center on problem analysis skills, intervention mechanisms, establishment of work teams and adopting an activity plan, we were able to work with the principal Mrs. Zahra Said, who was highly cooperative, thus forming a mothers’ council that communicated with the local council; and we were able to transform that hideous area into an annex garden of the school, filled with flowers and toys: a truly beautiful and pleasant scene to look at, leading to encouraging teachers and students to use this place as a venue to combine learning with playing and serving as a recreational arena during daily breaks.
We truly felt that we induced a beautiful change in our daughters’ lives by improving their schooling environment, and we are certainly proud of our accomplishment, thereby pushing us to tackle other problems and contribute to solving them.
Mothers’ Council in Tamoon Solves Sanitation Problem in Girl’s School
It posed a real problem to us, and I paid a visit to the doctor three times, who indicated that the reason might be that we did not prefer to use sanitation units at school and waited until getting home after school to use bathrooms; this recurred with my friends too, indicated Samia, an 11th grade student at Tamoon Secondary School for Girls.
Rabeeha Bani Odeh, a member of the mothers’ council of the school clarified that the problem was inadequate, degraded and far distant sanitation units, leading to suffering of girls and a number of health and psychological complications; Rabeeha added that after receiving training from and follow-up visits by the Teacher Creativity Center, we –members of the mothers’ council, principal of the school and psychological counselor- discussed possible solutions and adopted a full and integrated action plan, approaching the community to clarify the problem of sanitation units, who truly cooperated with us.
Some volunteered to work while others offered donations; we were able within months to build an appropriate sanitation unit in the school. Our activity didn’t stop there, but extended to organizing meetings with other mothers to raise their awareness in different aspects, while embracing the expertise of volunteers in the village and adjacent villages. We are truly happy about what we did to serve the interest of our daughters, schools and village.
Salah El Din Secondary School in Halhoul- Northern Hebron:
The Fathers’ Council at Salah El Din Secondary School for Boys detected a decrease in achievement among students, particularly in Arabic, Science and English. The council chose to resort to the computerization of education, as a solution to overcome the weakness in academic achievement via the use of technology. Mohammad Barbarawi, coordinator of the fathers’ council at the school, mentioned that the science curriculum to be explained in the laboratory was computerized to be presented using an overhead projector and a computer in the science lab. The council also trained the teachers in using the computer and converting material to multimedia, in cooperation with the educational directorate; additionally, a number of projectors were dedicated for the use of primary classes, and particularly the Arabic curriculum for grade 1, which was completely computerized. Barbarawi added that computerization facilitates the possibility of presenting the curriculum on the screen in the form of attractive pictures, animation, video and games, based on the philosophy of education via recreation. The representative of parents’ emphasized that the interest of students increased significantly towards the curriculum, and the students achieved remarkably better. It is worth noting that this success was under the direct supervision of the Teacher Creativity Center.
Accomplishments in Hajjeh Primary School:
The members of the council surprised me with their activity, interest, coordination and affectivity even though I was relatively new at the school when we received training and supervision from the Teacher Creativity Center. Also, even though I was from another village, they quickly accepted me as a member of the team and supported me, quickly reaching harmony Murad Zaben, principal of the school said. Zaben added that when he was transferred to the school he determined many problems, leading to more than five visits by the parents’ council and myself to the educational director of Qalqilya, who was in turn highly cooperative. We also conducted more than 110 visits to fathers, in order to encourage parents to take interest in their children’s education and achievement. We were able to raise approximately sixty thousand (60,000) US dollars, which we used to increase the number of classrooms and improve the conditions of sports courts and playgrounds; we adopted a clear action plan to solve the problem of underachievement among students in the primary stage, which we were able to solve to a large extent. We are very happy with our accomplishment and we have immense positive energy, understanding and trust from the people of the village, such that the council intervened and succeeded in solving political problems that occurred after the elections on the level of the village.
Other Success Stories:
Shereen, a member of the mothers’ council in Ishbiliah Secondary School for Girls in Tulkarem, said that after receiving training and conducting a number of meetings of the mothers’ council, she received an invitation from the Ladies Association of Tulkarem to deliver a lecture about the role and importance of parents’ councils, and the extent of importance that mothers pay attention to the school environment and achievement of their daughters. Shereen says that she was very happy and proud after delivering the lecture, mainly due to the interaction of the ladies with her, emphasizing that their work started paying off in delivering a clear message to the community, which is essentially that women, mothers and fathers should contribute to determining the needs of schools and contribute to planning the solution of these problems.