Dare To Dream For Education
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been suffering from an education crisis even before the refugee crisis began. SAT-7 ACADEMY’s educational and social development programs are providing complimentary education to children and equipping parents to help them learn.
15 million children are currently in danger of missing out on an education, 3 million of which are refugees or displaced persons. These numbers prove that even before the refugee crisis, 12 million children were not receiving education.
OBSTACLES TO EDUCATION
Unfortunately, this means there are problems beyond the refugee crisis. Most schools teach by rote, and children are not encouraged to exercise critical thinking, or have an opinion of their own. Many teachers still use violence in the classrooms, and most are not equipped to handle students with special needs, such as dyslexia or other learning disorders. Others, who try to apply more evolved methods, find resistance from the children’s parents.
Parents, who are limited due to their own poor education or illiteracy, are not aware of their role in encouraging and preparing their children to fully benefit from what is offered to them in the classroom.
“We try to inspire these kids to dream for the future, but their parents only want them to learn to read and write. They then leave school to become underage workers on a farm!” shares a teacher at a Syrian refugee school.
Apart from offering vital education on SAT-7 KIDS’ program My School, SAT-7 aims to help parents. Programs such as The Coach, with Presenter Dr Ihab Maged, offer guidance and counselling to parents on how to approach various situations regarding their children’s education.
The program tackles issues such as fear of separation in the first year of school, preparing children psychologically for the school system and long hours, parents’ expectations for their children’s performance at school, choosing the right school, and medical advice for the first years of school.
On a recent episode, Dr Maged tackled the topic of emotional intelligence, saying that “emotional intelligence is more important for the child than excellence in studying.” He suggested that parents visit the school premises with their child, and show them the classrooms before starting school, to prepare the child psychologically.
LEARNING MADE FUN
Another SAT-7 ACADEMY program, Puzzle, teaches children about their rights and character building. Through team exercises and games, children from different backgrounds learn how to work together for a common goal, and that they have a right to an education, a right to play, a right to a safe and happy childhood.
Through music and playing, the children participating on the program, and the viewers, learn to celebrate each other’s differences and work together.
“Resilience is the new happiness,” shares Milad Hadchiti, Presenter of Puzzle and Positive Psychology Coach. “We want to build strong and positive foundations for children to be resilient in life, and to know their rights.”
“When teaching character building, it is important to present these concepts in an indirect way, so our young viewers don’t feel like we are lecturing them, but rather that we are discovering these principles together through activities and engagement,” adds SAT-7 ACADEMY Manager Juliana Sfeir.
This article is part of SAT-7’s Week of Prayer 2019 – Dare to Dream. Please join us in praying for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Click here to access more resources and download our prayer guide.