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From Theory to Practice - A journey through Israel models

March 12, 2017

As our learning journey continued, we gained a lot of insight on how the state of Israel fulfilling its obligation towards The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It was quite intriguing to learn that the Ministry of Education in Israel spearheaded the process of aligning laws pertaining to children issues with the UNCRC, while this might be the opposite with most of the course participant’s countries. The implementation of children rights in Israel has really empowered learners who have been able to interact with the convention through different modes of IEC materials, thus being able to advocate for themselves, and be able to recognize when they are being abused. Like in most of our countries this has not been well received by teachers and parents who believe that children rights have been introduced to promote wayward behaviour.


Israel has a spectrum of interventions focusing on youth at risk, and during one of our professional visits we  appreciated the unique and comprehensive approach of the youth advancement department of the Jerusalem Municipality, contributing their quota to the solution of the problems of youth at risk, using social media, employment, and legal advice even to those who have been in conflict with the law in order to reintegrate them into society. This unique and comprehensive approach of connecting with the youth through a night café places them at an advantage as the youth normally approach them, without them was imposing their services. It also allows for peer to peer discussions. This concept proved to be new for most of us as children in conflict with the law are normally discriminated and labelled.


Another Israel innovation that caught the interest of the youth at risk 2017 participants is that of the Kedma Community High School

Their experimental model of reaching out to youth from minority and marginalized groups through the establishment of a multicultural school, free from any form of discrimination has proven its worth. The teachers stand out for their commitment in enforcing a belief that all human beings are equal and can connect with each other. Having a committed school counsellor who is an ardent believer of this concept places the school at an advantage of succeeding as teachers are capacitated with the relevant tools for assisting learners. As participants, we were also exposed to “The Five Secrets of Effective Communication” which include three listening skills and two self-expression skills. Their success of putting together learners from different socio-cultural and religious backgrounds, thereby breaking all discriminatory barriers is an example worthy of emulation.



In an attempt to put together all we have learnt and seen, the café dilemma and Mind mapping exercise tickled the minds of participants to work out short and long term needs, learning from theory and practice, the development of personal and critical thinking, and the connection of difficult problems to easy solutions according to their contexts.

Being part of ELEM, an NGO that work with youth in distress, provided an opportunity for us to see for ourselves juvenile delinquency (smoking, alcoholism, dancing etc.) on the streets of Jerusalem at night and how effectively ELEM is addressing this issue with the support of staff and their committed volunteers. 

 

The session conducted by Dr. Oved Kedem from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel on use of active science as therapeutic method for youth at risk was very informative and interactive for all of us. We enjoyed a lot especially discussion and experiments related to ‘The Music of Science’ and ‘The Science of Music’. It was very interesting to learn that small and low cost science experiments can play important role to create interest and develop scientific temperament in the children. Similarly we learned how active science experiments can help us to develop creativity in the children that provide an open, free and encouraging environment for learning.


Submitted by

Ayanda Phindile Simelane (Swaziland)

George Nsoh Afong (Cameroon)

Vijay Singh (India)

Hla Than (Myanmar)