In its efforts to employ and incorporate technology in the educational system; Al Nayzak for Supportive Education and Scientific Innovation released the first iPad application initiated and developed in Palestine by innovative Palestinian talent in Arabic.
The application named “Tafkeer” is consisted of 25 games in various educational topics that cover geography, history, art, technology, science, Arabic language and mathematics. It was developed by the R&D Unit of Al Nayzak and initiated by 14 innovative Palestinian teachers who benefitted from Al Nayzak’s grant “Building Teacher’s Capacity” which focuses on training teachers on using and employing technology as one of the main teaching tools in the classroom. The grant is given under the umbrella of “Thinking – Technology” Program; employing ICT in Education which is implemented in support of Welfare Association, Islamic Development Bank, Arab Monetary Fund and in partnership with Palestinian Ministry of Education, UNRWA and the Friends Schools.
The application is available for free at Apple Store under “Tafkeer” and also on a CD and Al Nayzak’s website. It is perceived as a teaching tool that explores the depth of knowledge of users of 10 years old and above, by encouraging and motivating them to look for the information, attest it then insert the right answer in the application to move to the next level; achieving Al Nayzak’s vision being one of the innovative entities that doesn’t only promote knowledge but is also a main pillar to creating it.
Al Nayzak’s partners to this project attended the workshop which focused on the importance of using the application in delivering the information using innovative and creative methods to students. Among the attendees was Dr. Basri Saleh Assistant Secretary for development and planning, Ministry of Education; Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi, Director General Welfare Association; Mr. Tharwat Zaid Director General of Educational Administration and Supervision, Ministry of Education. Also attending was participating schools principals: Mr. Mahmoud Amra of Friends Boys School, Mrs. Hayat Anati of Banat Al Turkeyye School; and Mrs. Arwa Salem of Banat Al Ama’ari School.
Principals and teachers who contributed to developing the application: from Al Amari school represented by Mrs. Arwa Salem, Banat Al Turkeya school represented by Mrs. Hayat Anati and the Friends Boys School represented by Mr. Mahmoud Amra also attended the workshop. They had the chance to present their contribution during the development phase and discussed means of enhancing the application to include more topics in the future. They were also commended for their valued contribution in developing the interactive e-games.
In his keynote speech, Eng. Aref Husseini Director and Founder of Al Nayzak stressed on the importance of using the technology labs in schools as talent incubators rather than computer labs only. “It is with pride that we release the first of its kind iPad application developed by Palestinian talent in Palestine. We anticipate that the application will reach out to more than 18 thousand users in the coming three months.”
“Al Nayzak is proud to being the entity that worked on establishing 13 highly equipped technology labs for different educational systems. We are ambitious as we are working on upgrading the labs in all schools across Palestine,” he concluded.
Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi, Director General of Welfare Association, said that the organization and through its 30 years of operations made steady steps in enhancing and developing the quality of education, covering areas that focus on employing ICT in education.
“Welfare allocated more than 30% of its budget that totals more than 160 million dollars in its efforts to develop education. In addition, our strategic plan for 2011-2013 allocated more than 22 million dollars for the same purpose, 3.5 million of which is to support efforts to incorporate technology in education,” she added.
“Technology advancement is an essential component to our developmental plans particularly concerning youth employment, and we hope to lead in this field. This initiative empower students with technical and productive skills that will contribute to their future plans and thus for the overall development of Palestine,” she concluded.
Dr. Basri Saleh Assistant Secretary for development and planning, Ministry of Education highlighted the importance of the collaboration between different entities from various backgrounds in the quest of developing technology and employ it in the educational system. “It is essential to develop the Palestinian official curriculum and building teacher capacities to bridge the gap between what school books offer and the daily updated technology.”
On the same note, Mr. Tharwat Zaid commended Al Nayzak’s unprecedented efforts as a socially innovative organization that focuses on employing and producing technologies contributing to fostering a knowledge based economy in Palestine.
Tafkeer-Technology is a unique educational project that aims at establishing an effective Palestinian module to incorporate and employ technology in the Palestinian educational system. The project targets tens of schools across Palestine covering different educational systems. The project has a framework of two different components: Creating the Educational Module and Establishing Modern Technology Labs.
Doha Al Wazany
Public Relations Department
Al Nayzak Organization for Supportive Education and Scirntific Innovation
T: +972 597920997