Pre-school education is the most important step in the child's educational, physical and mental development. UNRWA educational services begin in the first elementary grade, when a child is usually 6 or 7 years old. Children are expected to know how to read and write upon entering school; yet UNRWA does not provide pre-school education, leaving this weighty responsibly to the NGOs.
NICSVT made a decision a number of years ago to adopt an advanced pedagogical method for its kindergartens, to compensate for the less than ideal conditions in which Palestinian children face growing up in crowded and often unhealthy refugee camps.
Our kindergarten project began in Shatila camp and expanded quickly to include seven other camps; catering to the needs of children from the ages of 3-6 years. In spite of the difficult living conditions and limited financial resources, NICSVT has been successful in providing culturally sensitive education through advanced methods and rich tools, developing the capacities of the Palestinian children physically, mentally, emotionally and socially, while also enhancing their language skills.
Through active learning, children are given the liberty to explore their learning environment, discover and question, while enhancing his or her love for freedom and independence. Our curriculum includes diverse activities, such as drawing, handicraft, music, storytelling, films, picnics, sports and drama, each of which are tools for children to acquire in-depth knowledge.
By providing aesthetically pleasing spacious learning environments along with an atmosphere of warmth and cooperation (through positive teacher/child and teacher/parents relationships), children are nurtured and allowed to develop fully. Our kindergarten staffs are comprised of both teachers and social workers, who are provided by continuous in-service trainings to develop their skills and enhance their knowledge about new techniques.