Not all of us may have considered school an enjoyable experience, but hopefully, we all can remember at least one teacher who left an impression and inspired us simply by her/his enthusiasm and rapport with the class. Teaching is so much more than a craft or profession, and a good teacher can change a life.
The dedication and efforts of our teachers and education administrators in Palestine are the topic of this issue. They frequently have to operate under difficult circumstances that may stem from restricted mobility, scarcity of funds and materials, or the generally harsh circumstances associated with living under occupation. But their successes and triumphs are impressive, and we can say with confidence Thank You to all those who day after day stand up in front of a class and take on the task of preparing our youth for a better future.
Many Palestinian schools are employing various modern methods such as incorporating ICT in their curricula and teaching computer literacy; one has even integrated computer programming as a second language. Special schools aim to respond to the needs of students who are suffering from chronic disease, facing developmental or social challenges, or living in areas of restricted access, such as Area C. Students in Gaza are provided support in the transition from school to university, vocational training is gaining prominence throughout the State of Palestine, Palestinian universities are forming an Erasmus-sponsored network with universities from Jordan and European countries to develop e-curricula and more – the drive toward innovation and the extent of best-practice implementation are impressive. So are the achievements of the heroes of this issue. Read about some of the most successful teachers and prize-winning schools and students; consider the suggestion made by a prominent school principal and be charmed and intrigued by the ancient history of teaching in Palestine and the artifacts that teachers from millennia ago have left behind.
Our personality of the month is Riyam Kafri, our artist of the month Naseem Alatrash, our book of the month presents educator Khalil Totah, and TWiP Kitchen makes our mouths water with a special menu from Gaza. Visit our exhibition of the month that features work by Fuad Aghbaria, and enjoy the many listed events.
We would like to extend our gratitude to UNDP/PAPP for sponsoring this issue and contributing to our sustainability throughout this year, and to the Palestine Investment Fund, the Finnish Embassy, and the Hani Qaddumi Scholarship Foundation for their support. Thanks go also to our authors who include H.E. Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam, as well as teachers and administrators, NGO representatives, and entrepreneurs.