UNRWA schools join experiential learning objects program at university
The schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) are now part of Birzeit University’s Experiential Learning Objects (xLOBs) program, founded and implemented by the Center for Continuing Education (CCE). The center has held the first phase of xLOBs training with the attendance of 30 teachers from 12 UNRWA primary and upper schools.
The experiential learning objects (xLOBs) program has been successfully applied so far in 320 public schools in Palestine. The project integrates subject knowledge with life skills and citizenship education and interfaces directly with national curricula.
Osama Mimi, director of the Unit for Learning Innovation at CCE, described the new expansion in the xLOBs project as an important addition to Birzeit University. “That the UNRWA schools are joining xLOBs,” he added, “is a great deal to Palestinians because we have always contributed to safeguarding the right to education for Palestinian refugee children; Palestinians have always striven to provide inclusive and quality education despite the occupation and even when under blockade.”
Mimi emphasized the university’s commitment towards providing a high-quality education despite the numerous political challenges it is faced with. He explained that the new partnership with UNRWA is a direct response to, and aims to counter, the political, economic, and humanitarian hardships caused by the Israeli occupation.
Mohammad Salameh, vice president of the education program at UNRWA in the West Bank, said that this new partnership is timely, especially amidst the looming threats to shut down UNRWA in Palestine.
Salameh expressed enthusiasm over the start of xLOBs at UNRWA schools because “This program creates a transformative and creative educational model that integrates new pedagogical and technological developments to encourage students to produce knowledge constantly.”