Arabic 2.0: How an Arabic Teacher Is Bringing Interactivity into the Classroom and Bridging Gaps for Mutual Cooperation among Students

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In a school where resources are limited and the demand of new student registration never ceases to shorten due to constant Syrian refugee influx into Jordan, both teachers and the administration of al Rubaie’ Bint Al Mouawath Girls School in Mafraq find it difficult to cope with all pressure. Having to teach an average of 45 students in one classroom only gives little space for creativity. However, a group of teachers decided to stand together to shake the status quo and revolutionize teaching. This is the story of one.

“I come from an educational background that spoon-feeds. One plus one should always equal two. Looking back at how short-sighted I was back then, I would have thought twice before pursuing a career in education. But I stayed because Mafraq offers so little to a young woman. It has been a while since I last felt empowered. Allow me correct myself: I feel more hopeful now. Thanks to the Youth Information Center.” said Ms. Basma Al Khaza’aleh, an Arabic teacher in the school.

Early in 2016,  with the support and direction of the UNESCO Amman Office and with a kind donation from the Government of Finland, Tech Tribes joined forces with a group of 12 teachers to activate the recently-launched Youth Information Center (YIC) in al Rubaie’ Bint Al Mouawath Girls School in Mafraq. This effort came in the form of a teachers’ training program that aimed to expose teachers to recent technologies, in order to use information and communications technology (ICT) skills in the attainment of curriculum learning objectives and to promote research and innovation in both teaching and learning.

“With all honesty, I wanted to quit on the first day of training. It was {pauses} difficult for me to understand the logic, let alone the thought of bringing 45 students to a computer cluster and the hassle that comes with it. My curiosity kicked in though, and I am thankful that it did. Technology and I were never best friends. I hold an ICDL certificate, but I have not used any IT skills in years. A training session after another, my eagerness started to grow to the extent that I walked into the computer lab all by myself one morning. I did not know what to expect, but Google Search triggered something in me.”Ms. Al Khaza’aleh added.

This training course was open to all teachers in primary/ secondary education, and for students, beginners or experienced teachers, who have not yet used ICT in their teaching activities. Priority was given to teachers with ideas, to either customize the training outcomes for interactive teaching or for improvement of individual and collective practices.

“Today, I am a learner. I still have a long way to go. I am, nonetheless, confident that my newly gained skills will bring interactivity to the classroom. I am an Arabic teacher at the end of the day; and to be frank, Arabic is not every student’s favorite subject {giggles}. I can already feel the difference by how my students are reacting -in joy- every time I decide to give a class in the computer cluster. We enjoy the experience alike. They sometimes teach me things that I did not know! I have been missing this feeling for years.” Ms. al Khaza’aleh expressed.

The Youth Information Center (YIC) project consists of two computer clusters and a renovated interactive library. It aims to help strengthen community cohesion in a setting where Syrian refugees are hosted. The project equips students and their educators with the knowledge, as well as personal and social skills to be part of a cooperative, rights- based, and understanding medium.

Tech Tribes
Tech Tribes
Tech Tribes helps nonprofits & cause-driven groups architect low-cost and replicable interactive tech solutions that can help them solve community issues and enhance public participation.

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