As soon as the withdrawal of the armed conflict from eastern Aleppo became official in 2016, for Bani Taghleb school, the recovery process immediately started. Due to the school’s location in Al-Suleymanieh area, the damage was significant, once a missile fell on the third floor (the kindergarten Section) lucky enough that the incident occurred during the holidays when the school was empty.
However, the losses were not only material, the majority of the school attendants live in the same neighborhood or even in more dangerous areas, the thing that resulted in the loss of two students that passed away affected by their injuries from deadly mortar shells.
The loss of those innocent kids was grave on everybody, it left its indelible impact on their teachers and fellow students, that the school had to assign a psychological therapist to help children overcome the difficult and painful experience.
Despite everything the school went through, it didn’t close its doors for even a day. And despite the destruction occurred on the 3rd floor the educational process was held in the lower floors with all the determination to survive. About this collective persistence, Ms. Sabria Elias, the headmistress said: “Every day is a challenge, but the school insists on resisting all the circumstances and difficulties, and continue the mission in the educational field, and the most important in teaching the Syriac language, a heritage we cherish and proudly pass to the young generations”.
In order to carry on with their sacred mission, a lot of rebuilding and rehabilitation work was held, the thing that drained the school’s finances severely. Overwhelmed with the constructions they were not able to spend on the recreational and educational development purposes, which are as important as the other aspects.
But this school-year was different, the support came from Polish schools all the way to Bani Taghleb in a sincere attempt to reach out and improve the situation. The school was able to implement the improvements in many categories that were postponed due to lack of resources. They did accommodate the playground and installed basketball boards and rings so that children use the space in the sports class effectively, and on Christmas they threw a party for the kids to enjoy and celebrate the holidays, “This year our kids had the chance to celebrate the Christmas together and enjoy their time in a way every child deserves. The kids were extremely happy singing, dancing and accepting their presents they were smiling again” Ms. Sabria commented on that occasion.
Developing the educational tools was a part of this new implementations the school conducted, they have purchased two video projectors and two laptops to enhance the teaching methods during class.
According to Miss Sibell Esso the biology and social studies’ teacher, incorporating the visual aids will add an interesting element for the kids. not to mention that if they receive the information through combined senses audible and visual, comprehension will be easier for them, she says “this new generation is well acquainted with technology it will be very useful to corporate this technology to the learning process too”.
The students of the fifth grade agree with their teacher, they enthusiastically watched the big screen and learnt about the wind in the geography class.
Ahmad Nahhas said “today we watched a video about wind, we learnt about wind velocities, and the advantages and disadvantages of it, I learnt new things today”,
while his articulate classmate ,11 years old Shahed Hallaq told us how fun is the new way of learning she said: “we learnt from the book about all this things, then Miss Sibell brought us here to watch this presentation, in the book there aren’t many pictures, I like this way much better”.
The teachers of Bani Taghleb have a long list of small improvement and many development ideas in their minds to work on, despite of all the obstacles and hardships. The support they got from the polish schools rekindled their motivation to fight the odds and challenging circumstances and to continue offering their best for the school students.