PR: Virtual exchange from Syria and Gaza for a quality education

Mvms 2017 Gaza Hero UNRWA, Rushdi Al Saraj
Asma Elementary Coed ‘C’ School, Gaza

This autumn, students across 15 schools in Syria, Gaza, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Norway are connecting through the virtual exchange project, My Voice-My School.

Over twelve weeks, UNRWA students are working with their overseas partner schools to explore the importance and impact of education, and develop a student advocacy project suggesting how education can be improved for all young people.

My Voice-My School and the advocacy projects students develop in their classroom reflect the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Quality Education” and support students to speak up for the right of every child to a quality education, wherever they are.

“We wish all kids have equal education in a warm, loving environment,” explains Marah Abu Hashish, a 10-year-old student in Gaza to her peers in Flanders. During the project, classes in both locations meet online three times via video link to share ideas, and student projects and discussions are filmed and photographed to bring these young voices to the attention of a wider audience via the press and social media.

Co-developed with virtual learning specialists Digital Explorer, the My Voice-My School project has involved over 900 students from upper primary and middle schools since its inception in 2014. This year, thanks to the generous support of the Government of Flanders, UNRWA is piloting the project with upper primary students, including the development of a new set of resources.

“We need to listen more: to involve children and youth so that their voices and concerns are heard,” says Director of UNRWA Education, Dr Caroline Pontefract. “Student engagement is a key element of the UNRWA approach to quality education, whether in regular times, or times of emergency.”

Through the My Voice-My School project, students are encouraged to think and share ideas about teaching, learning, and the use of technology in the classroom. The end result reveals to all students the right of every child to a ‘quality education’ wherever they are.

24 November 2017