Teach For Palestine joins the Teach For All network

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A female teacher wearing a head scarf demonstrates a science activity to two boys and other children who are mostly out of frame

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At an extremely challenging moment and while operating in a complex and volatile context, we’re excited to announce that Teach For Palestine (in Arabic:  "نُعلِّم لفلسطين") has joined the Teach For All network as the fifth partner in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Teach For Palestine’s vision is for all Palestinian children to receive a high-quality, inclusive education in a safe and nurturing environment that will expand their life and livelihood opportunities and enable them to grow up to be positive role models for all Palestinian communities. 

Military occupation has severely impacted access to education for millions of Palestinian children. According to Unicef, 25% of 16 to 17 year olds are out of school, leaving them at risk of early marriage, child labor, and other unsafe alternatives. Those children who do remain in school have experienced significant disruptions in their education. According to Education Cannot Wait, “Traveling to school is unsafe for students, and schools are frequently attacked or occupied for military purposes. Additionally, poverty and restricted services limit academic capabilities, putting education at risk.”

To address these challenges, Teach For Palestine, headquartered in Ramallah, aims to place its inaugural cohort of 20 teachers in marginalized schools in the West Bank in Ramallah, Jericho, and the Jerusalem suburbs in January 2024, and to expand over time across all of Palestine. The organization is currently in the process of selecting this first cohort, who will teach children in grades one through four. The team will also be supporting the development of fourteen school principals and supervisors in its placement elementary schools.  

The ongoing emergency context of Palestine has put trauma-sensitive classroom approaches and student, teacher, and staff wellbeing at the center of Teach For Palestine’s training and support program, as it aims to enhance the quality of both physical and learning environments in Palestinian schools, with a particular focus on the most marginalized institutions. To further support its vision, Teach For Palestine aspires to develop a strong alumni network of advocates who continue to learn and work with others, in their own context and globally, to ensure a safe, equitable, and quality education for every child in Palestine.

The Teach For Palestine team, including its CEO Jihad Shojaeha, Board Chair Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi, and founding Board of Directors, is closely collaborating with the local Ministry of Education and other key stakeholders to enable it to successfully operate in such a complex and turbulent context. Jihad is from Deir Jarer in Palestine and brings a robust background in implementing innovative educational programs for students, educators, and families in Jerusalem. He was the founder of a local NGO, The Palestinian Initiative for Supporting Students (Esnad), that focuses on addressing poverty through education and vocational training and supports youth empowerment through volunteerism and community engagement. Jihad has been recognized for his work and impact in Palestine and the region more broadly, receiving an Ashoka Award for social Innovation in 2015 and the Takreem Award for Innovation in Education in 2013.

As we welcome Teach For Palestine into the network, we’re reminded of the heart, resilience, and perseverance of the founding team as they embark on this journey, and we’re inspired by the organization’s strength and commitment to bringing its program to life amidst the serious crises its country is facing. We look forward to all that Teach For Palestine will contribute to our global network in the months and years to come.