School counselor: Zenaat Dawoud Abed Al-salam Hamamreh
Battir Secondary School for Girls
Directorate of Education: Bethlehem
My innovative initiative’s main principle is to intensify partnerships, and strengthen awareness-raising and education on the importance of protecting cultural, social and national heritage at all levels among students at my school and other schools in the area. This idea came into my mind after noticing how far my students were from their cultural and national heritage. This could result in threats to cultural and national property. Therefore, students, teachers, some parents and schools’ principals gathered within a range of activities to enhance students’ cultural heritage and to ensure the identification, protection, conservation and presentation of this inheritance.
This initiative was considered as an outstanding and exceptional one because of the great and effective participation of students. It reflected positively on their behaviors and attitudes towards their cultural heritage and towards their education.
The impact of the initiative
As I mentioned above, this innovation had a positive effect on both the students and the local community. Concerning the students, this initiative increased students’ participation in the school activities and in rescuing and awakening their cultural heritage. Moreover, it strengthened the relationship between the students and the local heritage centers at the village. Students became good researchers in looking for everything concerning their heritage such as the historical places at their village- Battir. Students also became more cooperative, active, less aggressive, more committed and able to communicate with their teachers and others. They worked willingly and enthusiastically towards the achievement of our goal. Concerning the local community, the relationship between the school and the local institutions became stronger towards sharing knowledge and experience to protect and enhance our prosperous heritage through raising awareness campaigns and speeches.
principal allowed the local community to use the school facilities for a winter camp in order to carry out some related activities. Those activities included interviews with the elderly, hosting guest speakers and organizing awareness-raising campaigns.
Challenges and difficulties
Mobility caused by the initiative
There was a clear positive improvement on students’ behaviors and personalities as they became more cooperative and interested in their cultural and national heritage in addition to showing more respect to their values and traditions. The cooperation and interest in the cultural heritage also expanded to other public schools, the UNRWA school, the kindergarten and the local community.