Enhancing Socio-educational Outcomes of Children in six Schools in Nahaleen Village Part of Ajyal’s R.I.S.E. Programme
This project aims respond to some of the challenges imposed by decades of occupation and its consequent impact on children and education, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This intervention, the first of its kind in Palestine, aims to improve children’s educational outcomes, to help them overcome their socio-emotional difficulties and to offer an enabling, supportive and sensitive educational environment in schools to help children build resilience and thrive personally and academically.
This project aims to support children and improve their educational outcomes across 6 schools in the village by introducing the evidenced-based Socio-Emotional-Learning (SEL) Model - a model proven to help children living in challenging circumstances. The project will work with and benefit 3 groups in this community: 1,885 children from Year 1 to Year 9, school staff (teachers, education consultants and school management) and parents. The Socio-Emotional-Learning (SEL) Model The SEL approach to education helps children develop an awareness of the ability to manage their emotions; to set and achieve important personal and academic goals; to use social -awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships; and to develop decision making skills and responsible behaviours to achieve school and life success. More than two decades of evidence-based research shows that SEL leads to increased academic achievements, improved behaviour, and it has a long-lasting impact.
This project is the first of its kind in Palestine to offer the following:
an intervention in all lower and higher elementary schools in a community (all schools below high school level);
training for the entire educational cadre across 6 schools including school management; and
introducing the SEL model across the 6 schools to support the needs of children living under occupation.
By training the entire school cadre, the project will provide a comprehensive and unified approach across and within the schools, creating continuity and consistency in educational approach, thus fostering cooperation amongst school staff and enhancing the prospects of the intervention being successful. Furthermore, it ensures not only a wide-reaching impact, but a sustainable impact to meet the long-standing needs and challenges of this community once the project has ended. Moreover, supporting and upskilling all those around the child to be competent in SEL skills addresses the holistic needs of children at home and at school, and ensures joint efforts and a consistent approach across both settings.
The project will directly benefit 103 educational staff, 150 parents and 1,885 children currently attending the 6 schools (in total about 25% of the population in the village), in addition to all children who will enrol in the schools in the future. By doing so, no child will be excluded as the project will benefit current and future generations of children in Nahaleen.
It is worth noting that all schools that benefit from this intervention will also benefit from Ajyal’s future interventions that aim to introduce school libraries, science labs and music education into schools. In doing so, we aim to improve the overall educational environment to help Palestinian children R.I.S.E. by creating an educational environment that is Respectful, Inclusive, Safe and Engaging.
Nahaleen has a population of 8,855 people and is one of the most impoverished areas in the West Bank. The village is surrounded by Gush Etzion Bloc, a cluster of 22 illegal Israeli colonies.