It is no secret that the Syrian crisis has had a devastating impact on the educational sector across the country, thousands of schools were gravely damaged or transformed into shelters, depriving millions of children from accessing their fundamental human right to learn and build a future. However, the 8 years of war did not only decrease the education opportunities available, but it also affected the quality of these opportunities for the schools that were fortunate enough to withstand a nearly decade of crisis, like “Al-Sharek” school.
Against all odds, this nearly 90 years old school which is located in AL-Sulaymaniyah neighborhood, Aleppo, survived from complete destruction and over more it opened its doors to receive student from 4 other schools that had to close in late 2012 due to the lack of safety and destruction in Al-Midan area.
Al-Sharek became overloaded with the large numbers of students whose families were already either displaced or facing many challenges financially or even worse. The tuition fees, the schoolyear books, and uniforms became heavy burdens on the families, that the school decided to carry along with the parents. However, teaching a large percentage without charge has overloaded the school with these basic expenses leaving the school unable to develop its needed to keep pace with modern teaching methods.
This year with the help of Caritas Poland through the School to School program, these children were able to experience a more fun and effective ways of learning, using some interesting audio-visual tools and educational toys that could make passive learning become active exploration, in fact that is what Carla Shakar the biology teacher said ”we try to make the subject interesting and exciting for the students’ ages to explore and discover, but this has been a real challenge during the war and with the conventional methods” she adds: “this Anatomical model of the Internal organs of the human body will help immensely, our lessons will come to life with touch and interaction instead of being theoretical."
The fund was utilized to provide the school with two video projectors installed in classrooms to enhance the learning process, personal white boards for the younger students to practice writing and an anatomical model of the human body for the 5th and 6th to discover the organs, the vital systems and their functions. In addition, the kids in the kindergarten have new toys to explore the different colors, shapes and sizes with and also puzzle games to improve their skills in a fun way.
These may seem small improvements comparing to the great needs in these difficult times of economic crisis, but their impact is tremendous on both the teaching board and the students, for teachers it saves them a lot of effort with the limited resources available, whereas for the students it creates an enthusiastic atmosphere to try new ways of learning.
The school administration is grateful for the support they got from this particular program that helped them improve the existing teaching methods and ensure that larger numbers of children engage in quality learning.