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World Teachers' Day 2021
This World Teachers’ Day, we are celebrating teachers who served their students with extraordinary effort and care during COVID-19. More than one year into the pandemic, the theme ‹Teachers at the heart of education recovery› has never rang truer as it does now. As schools across the globe opened their doors to students for the first time in several months, empty, silent hallways were once again bustling with chatter and laughter.
To the more than 20,000 UNRWA teachers who ensured that their students› access to education never wavered, thank you. Their efforts to implement SDG 4, a quality education to Palestine refugees, even in the most unpredictable and trying circumstances, in some of the most challenging contexts of war, blockade and occupation were exemplary. From use of the UNRWA remote Self Learning Platform, to social media platforms to maintain constant contact with their students, UNRWA teachers are truly at the heart of education recovery.
“My motto in life is this: I want students to escape to me, not away from me. That’s the kind of teacher I aspire to be and hope that I am.” These are the words of Mohammed Darwish Awwad, a teacher at the UNRWA Nuzha Preparatory Girls School in Jordan, generously funded by the United States, who has been teaching Arabic language for 27 years. A writer, poet and member of the Jordanian Writers Association, he is one of more than 20,000 UNRWA teachers in the Middle East region who are at the center of education recovery during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Read the full story here.
“During COVID-19 outbreak and the last conflict on the Gaza Strip, we worked with colleagues to follow up on the psychosocial wellbeing of our students as we shifted to remote learning. That was not easy! We were confronted by so many obstacles, from power outages, a lack of devices, unstable internet connections. Despite it all, we were able to make remote learning possible. I am very proud of what my UNRWA colleagues and I did. We will always be outstanding and overcome all of the challenges that come our way,” said Samya Alnjma, a teacher at the UNRWA Rafah Preparatory Girls’ School in Gaza.
“I’ve worked for UNRWA for the past eighteen years. Like all teachers, I’ve always been determined to continue providing an education to Palestine refugee children. I provided educational services during emergencies, ensuring my students’ well-being. Now, I am working through COVID-19, yet another challenge to their access to education. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we succeeded in making remote learning possible. We worked on empowering our students and ensuring their health and safety until we were finally able to hold in person classes again. Happy World Teachers’ Day to my colleagues for their invaluable contributions to the continuity of our education,” Ahmed Subeh, an UNRWA teacher at Rafah Preparatory Boys’ School, Gaza.
“On the World Teachers’ Day, I would like to express my gratitude to all my teachers who went above and beyond to encourage me and see my potential. Thanks for bearing with my questions and thanks for the support they provided. I would never be a successful student without them,” Remas Sheikh Al-Eid, an 8th grade student at the UNRWA Rafah Preparatory Girls’ School “D”, Gaza.
Oday Tahrawi a 9th grade student at the UNRWA Rafah Preparatory Boys School, who struggles with Thalassemia. “I don’t attend school regularly because, as recommended by the Ministry of Health, I should not be in close contact with too many people given my serious health condition. My immune system is considered vulnerable to COVID-19. I only attend school in person two days a week and the rest of the week I study remotely. My teachers send me lessons and follow up with me every day. They have really devoted a lot of time and effort to support me. Today, I should say Happy World Teachers’ Day to them! We can never thank you enough for your dedication and responsibility,” said Oday.
“Happy World Teachers’ Day to our role models, our inspiring teachers who help us overcome our fears and work on our weaknesses,” Majed El-Bal’awi, a visually impaired student at the UNRWA Rafah Preparatory Boys’ School, Gaza.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our outstanding teachers who not only impart knowledge to their students, but also inspire, encourage and instill curiosity to find solutions to problems in them. Thanks to all teachers who have never hesitated to support our school students, whether they are in home quarantine and or if they have special needs. Our teachers are our heroes!” said Mohammed Al Nawajha, a special education teacher, serving the Rafah Area, Gaza.
“Seeing my students grow in knowledge, skills and confidence gives me the greatest joy from teaching! When I see them became resilient and productive in their communities, I feel satisfied that I acted as a key to unlock their potential,” said Mohammad al-Laham, a first-grade teacher at the UNRWA Kufr Qasem School in Dhahiyet Qudsaya in Damascus. Read Mohammad’s full story here.
“I thank our teachers for their outstanding efforts over the past year, they have shown a high level of responsibility for continued education during the pandemic, especially with the implementation of blended learning during a difficult year for all students and teachers. This year, we are strongly trying to heal from this pandemic and our teachers are at the heart of this recovery, you will lead just as you did during the pandemic,” said Chief of Field Education Programme, West Bank Muawiya Ammar.
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