The Fall semester is nearly over, and Primary School students are grateful to be back at their beloved school. Under the leadership of principal Neama Abo Dalu, teachers and students continue working with the HOTAM (Education, Culture, and Tradition) curriculum, setting the standard for bilingual, culturally inclusive education in Israel. In addition to instruction in Arabic and in Hebrew, students took part in activities and trips to further develop their understanding and appreciation for a spectrum of cultural traditions.
A large group of 5th and 6th-grade students participated in the Hekton Competition in Mateh Yehuda. The students presented ideas to help inspire Jewish students to learn Arabic, enhance the relationship between students and the environment, and make school a more interesting and enjoyable place for students.
We have a new primary school principal, and as she begins work in these uncertain times, she will certainly rely on the support and involvement of parents in the education system. She is already actively working with Nir Sharon, Director of Educational Institutions and Youth Club to plan for the coming year, and the Parents’ Community will figure prominently in the activities during the year. Although the school has been teaching the human values of culture and tradition for its entire existence, we now have a printed curriculum for all grades, and we expect the Parents’ Community, as a group, to improve their grasp of the new HOTAM curriculum’s goals and segments so as to help their children continue discussing at home the concepts and ideas they learn in school. Finally, due to a new school opening in the area, a number of students will not be returning in the coming school year. Despite this setback, the Primary School has committed to retaining its full teaching staff and working to recruit new children and restore the balance between Jewish and Arab children. In this, too, we depend on the support and involvement of the Parents’ Community
The Primary School is an exceptional place. As you may already know, it is the first school in Israel where children learn together in Hebrew and Arabic, and models a successful bilingual, binational approach to education for equal numbers of Palestinian and Jewish children ages kindergarten through sixth grade. What you may not know is that 90% of the school’s students arrive from more than a dozen communities in the region to join the eligible children from the Village itself. As students return for in-person learning, the Primary School is also growing as a learning community.
In March, the children celebrated Purim. In accordance with COVID regulations, each class celebrated the holiday in separate capsules. Currently, many students are observing Ramadan, and their teachers ensure these students are supported throughout this special. Whether or not children are fasting during Ramadan, the Primary School also celebrates Girgian. This festival is celebrated halfway through the Muslim holy month to reward children for observing Ramadan, though all students participate in the festivities.
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