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Posted by Editor on 26th December 2010 at 01:24 PM
UNICEF Supports Overhaul of School System in Syria

The launch of a new curriculum implemented by the Ministry of Education is effectively chipping away at the rote learning the Syrian school system had been built on. The emphasis in Syrian schools will now be on active learning techniques, such as group work and interactive theatre, long championed by UNICEF.

Shotlist:
Script

Repeat, repeat, repeat. These three words used to be the mantra of a Syrian education system built primarily on rote learning. Against a backdrop of highly pressured schools further stressed by the influx of large numbers of Iraqi refugee students it was clear the country needed to do something innovative to break the cycle. And so it is that the launch of a new curriculum implemented by the Ministry of Education marks an important departure for the children of Syria.

The emphasis in Syrian schools will now be on those active learning techniques, such as group work and interactive theatre, long championed
by UNICEF. SOUNDBITE: Abdul Salam Salameh, Ministry of Education Director of Planning [Arabic] "Active learning is a creative teaching method which splits the classroom into small groups. Basically active learning enables teachers to use a whole host of different teaching methods at the same time in the same classroom. One of the problems in Syrian schools is the amount of students in each class. And though overcrowding is still an issue in our
schools the active learning method enables the teacher to avoid teaching quite so many students at the same time and within the groups children
can teach each other."

Alongside overcrowding other problems confront the Syrian schools system. Serious amongst them is the prevalence of violence especially
that some teachers still enforce discipline aggressively despite a ban on corporal punishment in schools. A recent high profile incident in which mobile phone footage showed teachers punishing students garnered international and national press attention and reflected the occasionally ubiquitous nature of this violence.

The groundwork for Syria's new curriculum has been paved by the innovative UNICEF Child Friendly Schools model. By putting children at
the heart of school life the model is specifically tailored to ferment active learning and is to be adopted here in Syria in as many as 5,000 schools over the next five years.

In that it offers children a safe learning environment, a central pillar of this Child Friendly School model is that pupils be free from violence in schools.
SOUNDBITE: Abdullah Alhaski,4th Grade Student [Arabic] "Of course, the education is better now, I mean the teaching method has changed. The taps, the toilets and the classrooms, everything has changed."

As such Syria's Ministry of Education with UNICEF's support have introduced additional training alongside the updated programme to instruct teachers about alternative punishment and on stamping out violence in schools. Training that dovetails with the improved education landscape offered by the rehabilitated schools, the improved teaching methodology and the robust new supplies to offer Syria's interactive new curriculum the best possible first day at school.
This is Rob Sixsmith reporting for UNICEF in Syria.

For more information visit UNICEF.org

UNITE FOR CHILDREN.

Shotlist

1.Wide shot,Kids shouting
2.Medium shot, Kid reciting
3.Medium shot, kids pushing and shoving in school
4.Pan shot: across broken taps in schools
5.Medium shot, close Up: broken tap in schools
6.Close Up, water dropping into bucket
7.Close up, bucket with water
8.Wide shot, Ministry of Education and teaching staff
9.Medium shot, Ministry of Education official with pupils
10.Close up, girl writes in new text books
11. Medium shot, girls works on new white board
12.SOUNDBITE: Abdul Salam Salameh, Ministry of Education, Director of
Planning [Arabic]
"Active learning is a creative teaching method which splits the classroom
into small groups. Basically active learning enables teachers to use a
whole host of different teaching methods at the same time in the same
classroom. One of the problems in Syrian schools is the amount of
students in each class. And though overcrowding is still an issue in our
schools the active learning method enables the teacher to avoid teaching
quite so many students at the same time and within the groups children
can teach each other."
13.Close up, pan, broken sinks to kids in school
14.Close Up: kid upset
15.Medium shot: kids crying after punishment
16.Close up, zoom out: from UNICEF table to kid working
17.Medium shot: General view of schools painting
18.Medium shot: General view of second school painting
19.Medium shot: kid talking in classroom
20.Medium shot: kid talking straight to camera
21.Wide shot: kids playing in classroom
22.Medium shot: kids in classroom
23.SOUNDBITE: Abdullah Alhaski, 4th Grade Student, [Arabic]
"Of course, the education is better now, I mean the teaching method
has changed. The taps, the toilets and the classrooms, everything has
changed."
24.Wide shot, trainer talking at violence workshop
25. Medium shot, trainer talking at violence workshop
26. Medium shot, participants in workshop
27. Wide shot, pan hallway of school to classroom
28. Medium shot, teacher with pupils
29. Medium shot, pupil in classroom
30. Medium shot, boys in class

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