SHARJAH, The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, has announced that it is to establish a large-scale secondary school for students with hearing impairments in the West Bank, Palestine. 'The Big Heart School' aims to help those with hearing disabilities improve their academic performance via the provision of specialist educational facilities that cater to their personal and academic requirements.

An agreement was signed recently at the headquarters of the Municipality of Qalqilya to construct the school at a total cost of US$2.5 million, with the initiative coming as part of TBHF's efforts to support the Palestinian people and to alleviate the ordeals of in-need community segments in the Occupied Territories. The project aims to improve the academic integration and performance of students with hearing impairments.

Located in the strategic northern West Bank city of Qalqilya, The Big Heart School will be administered in partnership with the Welfare Association, Palestine's largest non-profit organisation. Serving as a meeting point between all Palestinian cities, Qalqilya will facilitate access to 45,000 students of different age groups with hearing difficulties in the West Bank.

The project, extending across an area of 2,000 square metres, will include a high school and a dormitory designed to serve students 5-18 years of age from all Palestinian cities and governorates. The school will include all facilities necessary for education, care and rehabilitation for its students and will be fully equipped in accordance with the highest technical standards and educational requirements.

"Inspired by the vision of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, we seek to implement projects that have a sustainable impact and which contribute meaningfully to community development and empowerment. This project is one of the most important initiatives that we are implementing in Palestine as it addresses important gaps and needs of children with hearing impairment and provides them with an education that matches that of their hearing peers," said Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF.

Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi, Director-General of the Welfare Association, expressed her thanks and appreciation to TBHF for its generous support and funding of the school, which will comprise five floors featuring 16 classrooms, a library, computer rooms, dormitories for male and female students and a section to provide examinations and therapy for students with expressive and receptive language difficulties.

Set for completion within two years, the Big Heart School will help tackle the low literacy rate among deaf students in the Palestinian community. There are currently 12 schools containing 700 male and female students with hearing loss in the West Bank. Affiliated to civil organisations, these provide education up until the eighth grade only.

Source: Emirates News Agency