KinderUSA's tutoring program provides middle-schoolers with personalized instruction from local university students supervised by a professor. With no public schools in Gaza, children rely on a small number of overcrowded UN-administered schools. Our program focuses on the most at risk of dropping out: those from families of 5+ children, living on less than $2/day, with illiterate caregivers, and who are struggling with core subjects. Every year, we have expanded this highly demanded program.
The lack of school facilities in Gaza forces existing schools to run double and even triple shifts of overcrowded classes, of sometimes more than 50 students. The blockade prevents construction of new schools or the repair of the 15% of existing schools damaged in conflict. With the large number of students in each class, it is very difficult for students to participate in the classroom or comprehend the instruction. Extreme poverty in Gaza exacerbates these problems for the most vulnerable.
By putting the children in groups of ten, the professor and the tutors are able to interact with them individually. This means they can identify where the students is having problems and work with them a step at a time to resolve those problems. Once their deficiencies are shored up, the students have a much better chance of benefiting from the instruction in the large classes. Also, sometimes problems have emotional roots and a little bit of personal attention can make all the difference.
Helping these children get a handle on the core subjects in middle school greatly reduces the risk of them dropping out of school. By helping to keep many of these 100 children in school, we are helping to both build for the future, and preventing the community harm that often follows under-education. Connecting these children with local university students also provides them positive role models, while supporting those students to become leaders in the community more immediately.