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Discussion Presents Progress of Tawjihi System Review

February 17, 2016
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Public Relations Office - Birzeit University

The contentious topic of reforming the tawjihi, Palestine’s high school matriculation exam, was discussed at a February 15, 2016 forum held by Birzeit University’s Faculty of Education.

The discussion panel, “Educational Reform in Palestine between Reality and Ambition: The Tawjihi System as an Example,” featured two educational experts from the National Committee of Educational Reform, its media spokesman Mohammad Ayyad and member and founder and head of Al-Nayzak Aref Husseini. The committee has been tasked with making recommendations for reforming Palestine’s educational system.

“Education in Palestine is the most essential investment in the future of our country,” said Faculty of Education dean Hasan Abdel Kareem in his welcoming remarks. “This is about enhancing the well-being, life skills, and holistic development of our youth, and therefore, our country. We are keen to take part in every activity that will make our education system better.”

Ayyad and Husseini described to the audience the draft reform plan that committee members have been developing over the last two years. Their plan suggests transforming the education system from a textbook model to one using student-centered dynamic pedagogies with the teacher as a facilitator of learning and skill development. According to them, this shift requires various reforms in the current curriculum, the role of teachers, and a different criterion of evaluation.

The National Committee of Educational Reform studied other educational programs such as the TOEFL IBT and SAT to learn from their manner of evaluating students.

“It is time for Palestine to follow other countries’ leads when it comes to education,” Husseini said. “We have read thoroughly about the educational systems in Singapore, Malaysia, Estonia and others and reviewed different significant books in education. We believe that the most effective way to  improve our performance in education is to figure out how the countries with top student performance are doing it and then by building on our unique strengths, we can figure out how to do it better.”

Husseini said that there are many considerations. “We have lots of ambition, but more challenges. We are trying to find methods with a clear vision of achieving excellence in education and maintaining pedagogical updates technologically and technically, taking into account students’ skills and abilities,” he concluded.  



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