There is growing concern about the state of our public schools and the quality of education underprivileged children obtain through that system. The classroom setting, which at times hosts up to 60 students per class, is limited to narration of lifeless and sometimes irrelevant material. Children are thus cramming information without critical understanding. They are not encouraged to read on their own or even within the prescribed syllabus and are trained even less to think independently.
This is becoming more and more evident through our various interaction with the children. While playing simple games, where children are required to think of countries that start with a given letter, or writing a critique of a movie they watched or even in simple quiz games – children’s performance is very poor. Their spelling is atrocious, their general knowledge basic and their analytical skills very limited.
Based on the above, “Live and Learn” program provides an educational and developmental environment that aims at introducing the child to the surrounding world through an interactive curriculum that complements their poor school education. The program’s name, gives a good insight into its actual identity and the work it stands for today. It is all about Living and Learning.
The “living” refers to the way the program sees itself as a normal and ordinary part of the community life, it interacts with people, it builds relationships, it poses challenges and offers opportunities. Moreover, it occasionally supports its members emotionally and it evolves organically, as the community evolves.
“Learning” in this context is perceived as a central life activity that can take place at any time through any interaction or life situation. Learning is not only central, but it is a valuable and pleasurable activity worth spending time on. For learning to happen, the NFE believes it requires feelings of safety and trust, and lighting up the learning attitude. And that’s what the NFE aims at doing with everyone in its circle…
We realize that there are varying levels of abilities and competencies and we regard such variation as conducive to the diversity of the group’s learning experience. Learners’ individual needs are fundamental factors in the learning process and each learner’s self-expression and experience is encouraged
Program learning pillars & activities:
Language education is an essential tool for further learning, it gives one access to the internet and social media; opening up different sources of knowledge, as well as introducing them to different cultures.
Language activities include: Arabic, English, French, Spanish and German.
The world of Sciences:
It covers the different areas of scientific knowledge and understanding the laws of the universe. Activities include: science experiments, environment, math& numbers.
The world around us:
It covers all activities aiming at understanding the human side of our existence,this
We build the capacity of young people by challenging their values and attitudes, expanding their knowledge and developing their skills. We motivate, encourage and empower them to exercise real choice – and make informed decisions.
Activities include: life coaching, orientation program to A&A & ladies gathering.
Sports (physical education):
Every day we have a different theme and activities for open space. In open space any child is allowed to enter and it's not based on a certain curriculum rather on various activities that embed a set of values.
Activities include: origami, puzzles, critical thinking games, etc.
The Montessori approach:
The Montessori philosophy is child centered. It is the child who constructs the adult he will someday become. It is the child, who in his early years begins to build an image of himself; begins to strive for independence and self-mastery. Montessori felt that a child would move towards this development of the whole personality within a social context if he is provided with the right environment that encourages independence, freedom and the responsibilities of each.
Montessori class is an educational and developmental environment that aims at introducing the child, at preschool age, to the surrounding world through a curriculum that is divided into 9 stages or steps, which the child passes through, using tools and activities designed for every stage. These activities are geared towards planting the main foundation for the child to develop their daily physical, social and cultural skills. These tools were also designed to train the child on self directed learning through respecting the system, rules, personal boundaries and self correction.
Alwan wa Awtar - Ezbet El Nasr “Learning Spaces for Children” Project
This project contributes to improving the education services for the children of Ezbet El Nasr aged 7-15 through this following objectives:
*Children of Ezbet El Nasr have developed their habit of reading.
*Children of Ezbet El Nasr have experienced alternative and stimulating ways of learning.
*100 children have improved their basic learning skills including literacy skills and life
*Community members are introduced to progressive methods and concepts of child education.
Main project activities
A space that nurtures children’s love for reading and attachment to books
A space that offers a variety of educational, arts and cultural activities
Live and Learn
An educational programme focused on linguistics, math and life skills
A training program for community youth interested to learn about non-formal education
A periodical meeting where mothers and women educators get to discuss educational issues and share experiences