Islamic Relief is investing in education in Tunisia as part of a plan to build hope and ambition among young people.

Local dignitaries attended a special opening ceremony to launch the programme, which aims to build confidence in a better future through education.

The project, run alongside the government’s strategy to improve education, will build the capacity of schools and libraries in Medenine governorate, in south eastern Tunisia. Islamic Relief will train teachers in modern and creative teaching methods, and help schools organise a series of extra-curricular and sports activities to boost pupils’ interest in school, and help tackle lateness and unauthorised absence among children.

We will hold training sessions for 360 teachers across 14 primary schools, looking at modern teaching tools, use of ICT and multimedia. Books and equipment will also be provided to schools.

The project, called My Education…My Hope, aims to encourage learning by inspiring participation through extracurricular activities such as sports and crafts. Reading clubs, an environment club, ICT club and sports club will be initiated in every school to engage the children.

Supporting a future generation

Yassine Labidi, project coordinator, said: “Extra-curricular activities such as clubs and sports play a vital role in reinforcing the leadership, self-confidence, and sense of responsibility and teamwork among students. Students will benefit from awareness sessions about key topics and will be given an open space to express themselves and shape their leadership skills.”

The link between schools and libraries will be developed. Two mobile libraries will be provided so children in rural areas will be given the opportunity to access a range of books. Public libraries will also be improved, with the provision of internet access, the purchase of better computing facilities, and training offered to both adults and young people. Islamic Relief will provide each public library in Medenine with 15 computers and will train 28 staff on ICT. The staff members will be taught ways to pass their ICT skills on to others.

Opening ceremony

Attending the opening session of the project in January were government representatives, primary school inspectors, education and culture commissioners, journalists, the Governor of Medenine, Habib Chowat, and Islamic Relief staff.
Speaking at the event, Hedi Amri, the regional commissioner of culture of Medenine, said: “Cooperation between the government institutions of culture and civil society is the best solution. Islamic Relief Tunisia’s initiative is very important. The project will encourage pupils’ reading and regular visit to libraries.

“The public library will be equipped with digital, technological and IT tools which will make it more attractive to pupils and readers. In addition, a large amount of money has been allocated to buy new books.”

The papers are signed to officially launch the project.

The papers are signed to officially launch the project.

Mohammed Sghaier Abbassi, the regional commissioner of education, added: “The project has a positive impact on the educational system in the region as it aims to improve the quality of education through building the capacities of schools and libraries.”

The project, which will run for two years, was planned in partnership with the Tunisian government to complement their investment in education.

Tunisia struggles with youth unemployment, especially in rural areas. Medenine governorate is particularly underdeveloped, with unemployment and poverty widespread. Quality education will give youngsters the correct skills and flexibility to adapt to the changing job market as the country continues to develop.

Islamic Relief has worked in Tunisia since 2011, and currently runs projects supporting refugees, providing safe drinking water and empowering communities to improve livelihoods.