The Hagar School – Education for Equality

in arab, in english and in hebrew – Linked with Educating Children in Conflict Zones.

The Hagar Association was founded in 2006 by Jewish and Arab parents, teachers, community organizers and other concerned residents from Beer Sheva in order to promote cooperation, mutual trust and understanding in the Israeli Negev. To realize its vision of a better future, the Association decided to create a Jewish-Arab pre-kindergarten-12 school as well as a community outreach program. (Homepage).

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Address: Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality, P.O. Box 3369, Shikun Hei, Beer Sheva 84133, Israel;
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About: In 2006, a group of Beer-Sheva parents, academics and community activists in the city and its environs, founded the Hagar Association as a response to the present reality in the Negev, where about 600,000 citizens, a quarter of them Arabs, live side by side but in segregated spaces. 

Up until 2007, there was not one educational or social framework in the Negev in which Jewish and Arab children could meet and engage in meaningful activity together. The Hagar founders believe that creating such a shared bi-lingual educational framework can promote knowledge and understanding of the “other’s” heritage, religion and customs, and thus help to bring about positive change in the region.

Education and Pedagogy in the Hagar Schools:

The Hagar kindergarten, preschool and school offer the community in the South a unique educational framework, based on the values of Jewish-Arab partnership and providing a high quality education and a warm, supportive environment that enables every child to develop his or her unique talents. The school brings together Jewish and Arab children in an egalitarian and tolerant space, which emphasizes respect for the other and the will to live together in peace and understanding. The school program is committed to democratic and humanistic values and to the awareness and learning of the respective cultures, identities and languages of the two communities.

The bilingual approach is at the basis of the encounter created by the school. According to this approach, language is not only a vital tool of communication, but also the most meaningful layer in every person’s cultural identity. The “Hagar” school implements this approach in imparting to each child an enriching education of the highest quality.

Our educational curriculum combines the core program of the Ministry of Education with a unique program of bilingual education. The school’s schedule of classes and extracurricular activities takes into account this integration and is built in the ” prolonged school day” framework. Every class has two teachers from the two communities who teach the classes in full cooperation. The bilingual model requires teaching in small groups, no more than 24-28 students, which enables personal consideration and attention to the needs of every student. The Hagar kindergarten and preschool are working for the second year now, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Beer-Sheva municipality and the Hand-in-Hand network. In the coming academic year, the fist grade of the school will be opened, and the school will develop and grow year after year.

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