Five Things Hassan Learned at home during distance learning
In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, Hassan Badr El-Din is defining what he has been learning at home via distance learning
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Hassan is 12 years old and is the second child of a Syrian family of 4. In 2017 he came to Turkey and settled in Urfa with his mother Rua, father Badr El-Din, and his younger brother Huzeyfe. His mother is a housewife, and the family’s livelihood has been made possible with the help of social assistance programmes, including the CCTE programme.
The CCTE programme aims to encourage school enrolment and improve school attendance of Syrian and other refugee children. It also includes a child protection component that ensures that the most vulnerable refugee children are identified and supported in accessing services as required. The CCTE is a national social assistance programme which has been implemented by the Ministry Family, Labour and Social Services since 2003. In early 2017 it was extended to Syrian and other refugee families and is being implemented through a close partnership between the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF. The extension of the programme has been made possible by the generous financial support of the European Union (EU) and is also supported by the Governments of Norway and the United States of America.
“Hassan’s dream is to become an architect and build a nice house for us. And for sure he will also build a big football pitch in the garden as he is a big fan of football games,” Badr El-Din explained. “If we want these children to play a positive role in making our future a better one, we need to invest in their education, it doesn’t matter which profession they choose, but at the end an educated person can always contribute to the community. Programmes like this support families who have financial constraints like ours to continue sending our children to school” Badr El-Din continued.
Before coming to Turkey, Hassan could not attend school due to the situation in Syria. Once the family arrived to Turkey, Hassan enrolled in school into 3rd grade after taking an equivalence accreditation exam. “At the beginning it was hard for me because I didn’t understand Turkish, but thanks to my teachers I was able to catch up and learn the language quickly, which also helped me to communicate with my colleagues in classroom and make new friends,” Hassan explained. According to his father, “Hassan is a successful student at school, and he received a certificate of achievement at the end of last school term.”.
“I remember the first day I knew I will be going to school here I was very hesitant. I didn’t know the language, I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t even know what to wear,” Hassan shares with us. “On my first day, I was feeling shy and didn’t know how I could engage with the other children. Then during the break I saw some of the children in my class playing football, and I thought maybe I should go play with them, and that was how I met my first friends in school,” Hassan continues. Now Hassan has adapted to social life and has many friends at school. “Hassan loves school, and he has very good relations with his peers and teachers and that is why now due to COVID-19 he misses his school very much and keeps asking me when he can go back to school,” Badr El-Din concluded.
As Hassan seemed very keen to talk about his education, we asked him what he learned while spending time at home while he is distance learning; “The first thing I learned is when you want to learn something, you can always find a way. Normally you think that you have to go to the classroom to be learning your lessons, but you can also learn from home thanks to internet and television. I also learned to appreciate the things we take for granted, like going out and playing with your friends.” Hassan thinks and then continues, “I think I also learned the value of spending more time with my family and how to enjoy eachother’s company, especially with my younger brother Huzayefe. One more thing I learned is that no matter your physical size in this world, you can always make a difference for good or for worse. A virus that we can’t see with our bare eyes changed the way we live maybe for years to come.”