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April 23, 2010

Human Rights Education Workshop Encourages Schools to Model Democracy

Human rights“The best way to understand human rights is to exercise them,” says Huda Musleh, Education Lecturer at Bethlehem University. “School life can offer this practice and teachers need to understand modern-day issues that effect our lives such as human rights principles.”

School teachers’ role is to assist in developing children’s comprehensive growth and development. “Their daily practices affect the well-being of the children through out teaching/learning methodologies, classroom management, learning experiences and communications” explains Mr. Rizek Sleibi, the Dean of Faculty of Education.

The February 13th Human Rights in Education workshop at Bethlehem University trained 70 local teachers and 40 University education students to develop human rights practices in the classroom. Organized through the Quality of Education for All Through Partnership project, this workshop has focused on the need for human rights culture in school life; that is to equip them with the necessary skills and information for the education of the basic human rights in school life.

By changing the ways they manage their classrooms, teachers can create a democratic, friendly environment by creating opportunities and providing practical tools for students to express their opinions, to think critically, to raise questions and to negotiate during disagreements, in other words to live out the human rights in all areas of their lives. “

When I was a student the idea of human rights was marginalized when it came to teaching/learning process,” says Ms. Nidal Abu-Sada, an Arabic and Math teacher at the Roman Catholic Secondary School- Beit Sahour. “today I will manage my classroom in a human rights friendly environment in order to teach my students what their rights are,” continues Ms. Abu Sada. To Ms. Abu Sada, human rights is an important factor in educating students, “all teachers need to practice it,” she left the workshop with new methods that she will pass to her colleagues at school.

“The role of the school is not limited to curriculum,” says Ms. Musleh. “Making schools a model environment for practicing and expressing democratic life — where negotiation is the way to solve problems — is crucial to raise a democratic community that believes in the concepts of equality, anti discrimination, freedom and justice to help build our future independent state.”


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine