The Little Teacher initiative: QFFD support empowers Palestine refugee students who strive to become teachers

02 March 2020
Student teachers and their little students from the UNRWA Jabal El-Hussein Basic School in Amman, Jordan. © 2019 UNRWA photo by Dania Al-Batayneh.

We all have a dream we want to achieve. Do you remember when adults would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? We would answer with excitement, “I want to be a doctor! An engineer! An artist!” Now, the next generation of teachers have come together to work toward their goal at the UNRWA Jabal El-Hussein School in Jordan through the Little Teachers Initiative.

Tala Abdel-Rahim, a tenth grade participant in the programme, "When this programme was launched, it was aimed at improving the educational attainment of elementary school students," said Tala, “But it turned out that it really helped me to fulfil my dream of becoming a teacher in the future!”

The Little Teacher Initiative was launched to raise scores of student in the second and third grade, as well as address behavioral challenges through mentorship by older student teachers. The participation of ninth and tenth grade students to teach their younger peers has resulted in increased attainment in the basics of reading, writing and mathematics.

“We meet our tutors during free class periods and work through worksheets we prepare for them. With the help of our teachers, we’ve been able to create resources that makes information easy for younger students to understand,” Tala elaborates.

Amneh Gwanmeh, a school support teacher notes, ”This initiative was and still a great achievement in raising the educational level of our students! More than 70 per cent of students who have taken part in the Little Teachers Initiative have improved behaviorally and educationally.”

With 25 students and 20 teachers working hard on the programme, classroom results have shown clears success by the Initiative. “Today, I can read and write very well,” said Dana Hussein, a second grade student who attends Initiative courses. “I want to be a policewoman when I grow up!” Dana happily continues.

In Jordan, UNRWA provides quality educational services to over 118,000 Palestine refugees students in some 169 schools across the country.  

The Little Teacher initiative is made possible through donor support. Through the Qatar Fund For Development multiyear contribution for 2019-2020, UNRWA is able to maintain core services including education, health-care, relief and social services.