There’s no doubt that the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has thrown education around the world into chaos. According to UNESCO, 85% of the world’s learners are not going to school right now. This means more than one and a half billion children are stuck at home!
But as we know, out of chaos there can sometimes arise incredible creativity, especially where Palestine is concerned. After all, Palestinian teachers have been providing quality education and dealing with the chaos imposed on them by external forces for many years now. They have consistently been finding creative ways to help children learn despite all the challenges – and to enable young people’s art to be noticed and their voices heard.
As a response to the current crisis, HUP has already reinvented ourselves and changed pretty much everything that we do. By immediately moving our sessions from #Zoom to #FacebookLive we’re coping with the school closures and enabling kids to access our team of volunteers in their own homes.
And next week we’re going to introduce three new creative ideas into the mix and hope that these will be ways not only to support the educational needs of young people in Palestine, but also to support other young people around the world under lockdown who want to practice and develop their English.
Mighty Pens – Saturdays, 12pm Palestine time.
As you may know we have been doing lots of storytelling sessions and grade specific English for Palestine sessions on Facebook live. This weekly session will also take place on facebook Live on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/handsupproject/videos/ but it will be an opportunity for young people to get some support creating poems, chants, stories and plays. It’s suitable for young people under 16, and everyone is welcome wherever you are.
Intercultural Show and tell – Mondays, 2pm Palestine
This weekly session will take place by #zoom (downloadable here https://zoom.us/download ) and will be limited to a maximum of 15 students aged 16 or under from anywhere in the world. The idea is that everyone brings along a personal possession which means something to them. It could be a favourite book, something which represents their hobby, a picture of someone they admire etc. They’ll then have a chance to talk about it to the others and one of our volunteers will provide supportive feedback. See this blog post I wrote about it a while back, and here’s an example of yours truly doing it as a beginner learner of Arabic as a second language (If I can do it anybody can! 🙂 ) Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
Students versus Teachers – Wednesdays 2pm Palestine time
This will be a chance for students everywhere to get revenge on teachers for asking them questions all the time! 🙂 The idea is that students from around the world come up with some difficult general knowledge questions in English for the remote volunteer to answer. It’s a chance to practice language related to other areas of their curriculum in English. The students will score a point for each question that the remote volunteer fails to answer correctly. There’ll be a different theme each week and to kick us off on Tuesday we’ll focus on the theme of Science. (Please see the examples below from our classroom based versions in Palestine) The session is suitable for young people under 16, and limited to 15 students maximum. Please send us an email at email@example.com to reserve a place.