Transforming Schools into Community Schools
The story behind this intervention
The Education group (KHBEd) came together under the umbrella of Khaddit Beirut (Beirut Shake-up) aligning with its mission of developing a road map for recovery that is evidence-based, community-led, and locally driven. The team consists of a collective of educators, researchers and concerned citizens who want to be change agents with diverse expertise joining efforts to break the cycles of dysfunction, corruption, mediocracy and ineffectiveness in order to transform our educational system into one that enables every child to develop as fulfilled individuals, masterful and creative learners, engaged community members and future leaders.
The work of the team started off with a series of forums where interested educators with common principles engaged in dialogue developing a shared vision that builds on existing assets, is informed by globally acknowledged best practices and honors the peculiar socio-cultural context of the communities that the schools are serving. Based on an extensive review of the literature and of international success stories, especially those of schools facing harsh conditions, the community school model emerged as a promising model and was chosen to guide the co-construction, with the school practitioners, of a shared vision for schools.
This model revolves around 5 pillars:
Execution of the initiatives
KHBEd has partnered with 6 schools and has worked with them on several initiatives:
- Wellbeing sessions for teachers and principals: teachers and principals are being invited to sessions in which they discuss issues related to their wellbeing and are given practical strategies to use themselves and to utilize with students.
- Principals and teachers will be offered the opportunity to discuss on a one-on-one basis with educational experts how to work on the wellbeing of their students.
- Reading activities: students from the Education society at AUB organized reading activities for students in two of our partner schools.
- Breakfast program: breakfast was offered to students in one of our partner schools.
- Teachers from our 6 partner schools participated in several workshops offered by the education department at the American University of Beirut.
- The UNICEF club at AUB will be offering entertainment/education days once a month for students in one of our partner schools. These days include sports, music, math and language activities.
- 27 girls from two of our partner schools participated weekly in a year-long IT training program offered by the American University of Beirut.
- 5 of our partner schools are being coached by educational experts on leadership, planning and instruction.
- Teachers and principals from our 6 partner schools participated in a session led by students at the American University of Beirut and Johns Hopkins which aim is to improve the ability of teachers to identify students experiencing symptoms of psychosocial distress and refer them to available mental health and psychosocial support services for further care.
- Teachers from our 6 partner schools participated in a session led by INEE on student wellbeing.