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My TVET Journey

By Moataz Omar

My name is Moataz Omar, and I am 34 years old. My journey started at the end of tenth grade, when we must identify in which branch of high school we would like to specialize – literary, scientific, commercial, or TVET. I was thinking first of the scientific branch because I had an average of 85 percent. But during a family gathering, I met one of my relatives who works in the installment and maintenance of security systems. He advised me to enroll in the TVET branch and major in air-conditioning. I liked the idea because it seemed to have a future and offered the opportunity to travel and work in the Gulf countries.

Photo courtesy of Irada Center, Gaza.

In 2004, I applied to Nablus Industrial Secondary School, the first stage in my journey. The average needed to enter the air-conditioning major was between 75 and 80 percent. Even though my average would have enabled me to join the telecommunications branch and many of those around me tried to push me to choose this major that fit my average, I refused and insisted on specializing in air-conditioning.

In 2006, I finished high school aftertwo years of specializing in air conditioning and refrigeration. In my first year, I learned the basics of air-cooling systems, enjoying it a lot, and in my second year, I learned how to install and maintain air-conditioning systems.

The challenge came after high school when I wanted to go to university. The options were limited since a bachelor of arts degree in the engineering of air-cooling and conditioning was available only at Hebron’s Polytechnic University, and the long distance from my home and high tuition cost made it very difficult to consider. Another option was to pursue a bachelor of arts in mechanical engineering at Al-Najah University, which did not appeal to me because I wanted to focus on air-cooling and conditioning.

I continued my search until I was advised by my teachers to check out Hisham Hijawi College that provides a diploma in air-cooling and the engineering of air-conditioning. I visited the college and was introduced to the diploma and modules. The college had opened recently and provided its best students with contracts to work in the Gulf countries, which supported my decision to apply.

I enrolled in the college and graduated in 2009, the second stage in my journey. While studying, I also worked and gained much experience that helped me develop my skills and networks. In 2009, I took the comprehensive exam organized by the Ministry of education and Higher Education, and was ranked one of the top students with an excellent degree. I received some offers to work in the Gulf countries, as I had wished in high school, but did not find them encouraging. Thus, I decided to continue to work in my country.

A few days later, Hisham Hijawi College, the institution where I had studied, contacted me and offered me a full-time position as a trainer in YMCA Vocational Training Center in Jericho. This was the third stage in my journey of success. The opportunity to work as a teacher for many students was very challenging.

I accepted the challenges, and I think I managed to overcome many of them. Many technicians whom I taught graduated and received good job opportunities. I continued in the college until 2018, when I saw an advertisement for a position at Nablus Industrial Secondary School, working as an air-cooling and conditioning mentor. I applied, was given the job, and was very happy to start the fourth stage of my professional journey. I came back to Nablus as a mentor after I had started there as a student in the same major. In 2019, I also received an offer to work in the general administration department of TVET in the Ministry of Education. I am planning to continue with higher studies and expand my knowledge to obtain a new major in TVET, namely, in the field of agriculture. I am very happy that I enriched my knowledge and continued in the TVET field.

  • Moataz Omar lives in the village of Deir al-Hatab in Nablus Governorate. He works at the General Directorate of Vocational Education in the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

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