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ISRAEL – EDUCATION FOR ALL: THEORY BEFORE PRACTICE

May 13, 2018

YOUTH AT RISK COURSE REFLECTIONS

GROUP MEMBERS: Omar Keita (Gambia), Trang Ho Huyen (Vietnam), BhupendraDhital (Nepal) & Nicole Warde-Morris (St. Kitts)


Success stories: WE SHARED! WE LEARNT! WE IMPROVE!

Everyone has a story to tell be it one of failure or success. By sharing our success stories we got to know and appreciate each other better and to understand the path we took to realize our strengths and/or weaknesses. Albeit, success requires hard work, a desire to achieve, the vision of the anticipated end results,motivation to overcome obstacles and opportunities of trial and error to get to where we want to be. It can also be said that success is for those who don’t easily give up because of failure. These failures can often be used as stepping stones to accomplish desired goals.


Today, it was important to keenly listen to others and to understand the different cultures and background which lent themselves to having different stories which were based on the challenges that were experienced during the time. This session gave us a chance to reflect on what we did in situations and what can be done differently to present greater opportunities to those involved.


These were bittersweet moments of fun and laughter, with a bit of empathy as we listened to the nerve wrenching experiences of our colleagues as events were shared. Altogether, we were able to show support to our group members who usesd alternative strategies which helped them to become successful.


It is imperative to understand that along the path of success may be found many stumbling blocks of failures; however, one must STAY POSITIVE, WORK HARD AND MAKE IT HAPPEN.


 


Implementation of Children’s Rights in the Educational System in Israel

by Mr. Yossi Michal from the Ministry of Education in Israel.

 

It is important to remember the quote outlined in the Course Background, “Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people of today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals” by Janusz Korczak.


Children and youths from all walks of life are faced with similar situations which put them at risk. They are of a vulnerable group in every society and are often taken advantage of by persons in authority or even sometimes their very peers; therefore, it is imperative that they be given rights which protect them in every aspect of their lives.


Today we were enlightened with information on not only the Rights of a Child but also the Israel Students’ Rights Law – the latter being a new concept for some participants of the group and is thought of as being a vital aspect to have within the framework of our Education Systems. We are all of one consensus that there are some rights/laws/constitutions which are relevant to a child in the Education System. In addition, we believe that the Unit in the Israeli Ministry of Education which is responsible for the implementation of these rights is one to be emulated by others in the context of our varying territories.


With these rights in place children would have more protection from the ills of society which would hopefully make them less at risk. As in the Israeli system, situations which violate these rights must be dealt with immediately in order to protect our children. This is possible because students have direct contact with the State Guide and Supervisor and his Unit which is open to them and their parents at any time through email and office contact numbers.


On the contrary, it was felt by individuals that some of these rights in themselves leave children open to harming themselves by abusing these laws. Children need to be protected by adults and should be guided accordingly when faced with certain obscene circumstances which they might later regret.


Overall, however, the session was quite interactive and intriguing with healthy discussions among participants and the presenter.


Group Photo with presenter Mr Yossi Michal, Ministry of Education, Israel (Purple shirt in front)

 

Vocational Education for Youth at Risk: Employment as Rehabilitation by Michal Glaser

The question of the day was “Is Vocational Education still relevant in 2018?”


Although most of our colleagues agreed in the affirmative there were still a minority who said that it is not relevant in their country. However, though it may have been seen to be important in some territories it was mentioned that in some cases parents were against this because it is feared that pushing students into this direction makes them inferior to others who have white collar jobs.


It was noted in our discussions that in most countries many people feel that Vocational Education is for weaker students who are not academically inclined but as educators we realize that this is a deficit way of thinking. This is so because as educators we realize that there are students who are good at the academics but would be happier in skilled fields.


More importantly though, is the use of Employment as a rehabilitation tool for youths at risk. This ensures that students are given first hand experiences in workplace and presents better placement opportunities at the end of one’s formal education. It was noted that in some countries this is called “Job Attachments” and is a onetime experience for students in a particular grade level.


It is imperative that Technical Vocational Courses be fully integrated into schools and each child be given a chance to choose whether or not they would want to carry these courses. Parents should be educated about the importance of these skilled subjects to the economy and be enlightened as to the benefits of such to their children. Countries without these skilled workers will in future be forced to begin to encourage immigrants to perform these jobs and lose revenue as a result.


In conclusion, it is important that Vocational Training be given the due attention that it requires.


 

The National Program for Children and Youth at Risk by Mrs. Mimi Akerman Ministry of Welfare and Social Services


Having a National Program for children and youth at risk is something the Israeli Government should be commended for. However, although having a national program in vital its implementation is of far more relevant. It requires collaboration among all stakeholders - local, government ministries and NGOs - that work directly or indirectly to ensure the proper organization of activities and that good problem solving skills are implemented throughout.


Unfortunately for some of us, there is no National Program for children and youth at risk in our country although our youths and children are faced with just the same issues and concerns of those in this great land. There is an urgent need for such a program; therefore we listened intriguingly to the information offered with the hope of again fitting this into our Educational Program tweaking where necessary to suit our culture and needs. Undoubtedly, if all stakeholders would work together in unity using our available data, having one common goal (holistic child/youth), ensuring there are quality programs we would be well on our way to creating our own National Programs as the one described during this presentation.


 


ICT Integration: Mr. Ariel Cegla


Our presenter, the intriguing Ariel, may have said that we would have gone from frustration to empowerment and he was correct for the most part but there is still a long way to go for us to fully understand the many applications we learnt that day. The activities during these three (3) hours were so engaging and informative that it overpowered us to a large extent.


Teachers were educated and left in awe as our lecturer presented to us several applications that we can use to make the teaching and learning activities more engaging and make students more responsible for their own learning. From online alternative or new methods of testing, to individual and group games, we were kept on the edge of our seats with competitive activities which made even the participants want to continue playing. Actually, we all agreed to an extra hour since the presenter had not finished all he wanted to teach us. It was that good.


Before practical experiences came theory explanations. Before being given the practice we were given some very important data on ICT and its integration and importance. We all agreed that in the twenty-first (21 st ) century, ICT integration is relevant in this generation; however, equally important is training for teachers who will be in these classrooms. Although the students may be motivated to use gadgets and apps, teachers are of absolute significance to the proper implementation and operation of any activity in ICT classrooms.