Civic Engagement Training: Literacy in Palestine
On Saturday, March 19, 2011, Tomorrow's Youth Organization hosted the first of five civic engagement workshops for the volunteer participants in our collaboration with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Dr. Alia Asali, manager of the Education Department at An-Najah University, led the workshop, which highlighted the status of literacy in Palestine. She noted that while literacy rates in Palestine are high compared to other Arab countries, the last two decades have seen a decline, especially among the younger generations. At An Najah University in Nablus, she witnesses the effects of this decline first hand. She said that many students' abilities do not reflect their grade level through middle school and high school, resulting in a number of university students that only possess basic reading and writing skills.
The discussion during the workshop focused on how innovative community programming, such as the TYO-MEPI collaboration, can help children, youth and mothers rediscover a love for learning and reading. Fostering this appreciation allows the community to focus on meeting each child's needs by involving them in an active learning process.