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Arab Evangelical Episcopal School, Ramallah

Headmaster: Mr Iyad Rafidi

Postal Address: P.O. Box 142, Ramallah, West Bank
Tel/Fax: + 972 2 295 6567
Located in Ramallah, the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School is co-educational from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It offers continuing education and workshops for all staff members in order to maintain and update their knowledge and skills. Ramallah is situated on a crest of the Judean Hills at an elevation of 872 meters above sea level, 10 miles north of Jerusalem. The name Ramallah can be translated from Arabic as the “hill of God” – Ram Allah. The city is situated in a fertile area, with olive trees and vineyards.
MISSION: Like the name of the city itself, the school is a symbol of God’s work, catering to both Muslims and Christians. As a Christian private school, the school has much to offer to the whole community and is largely considered one of the best schools in the area. The school believes that fulfilling its Christian mission comes through serving the Palestinian community in all its diversity, regardless of religion, race, gender, abilities and socioeconomic status of the person.
Developing the “whole person” of the student, to be respected as a human being, having his or her own unique character, is the core of the school’s mission. The school also seeks to educate Palestinian generations to become active citizens who participate in developing a humanistic and democratic society, enhancing religious and national heritage in Palestine, and promoting mutual understanding and tolerance among religions and cultures.
The Arab Evangelical Episcopal School is active on many levels aside from education. The students and staff participate in activities, which take place in the school, and in conjunction with other schools and communities. These activities include spoerts
In 1966, the building work began thanks to Christian congregations and friends who funded the construction of the school and the boarding home for girls. In 1968, when the building was completed, it was planned to accommodate 300 students, from kindergarten to class 9. Some of the school children lived in the boarding home on the compound. In 1990, the school decided to expand and to become a high school. In the year 1993, the first high school class graduated from the school.
The school grew as a viable and well respected co-educational institution, from kindergarten to grade 12. The demand on its services increased. The Oslo peace agreement allowed more Palestinian families to return to Palestine, which increased the number of children attending the school. In order to face this challenge, the school responded by building another building on the same compound, funded by friends of the school and Christian congregations, as well as from the Jerusalem 2000 fund. In 2003, the new building was opened and accommodated students from class 9 to class 12, with a total number of 645 students from the area of Ramallah and the surrounding villages. The number of students continues to rise.
ACHIEVEMENTS: In spite of the difficult political and economic conditions in Palestine that have left its mark also on the school, the school has been able to maintain its academic and humanitarian mission. Academically, the school fulfills the highest standards in the Standard High School Examinations (Tawjihi). On a humanitarian level, the school supports its needy students as best as it can. In sports, the school’s teams win many of the sports tournaments offered by the ministry of education.  Some of its students even participate in the national basket ball team. Three girls from its girl's football team were chosen to join the Palestinian National football team for girls.
The school also has a complementary class, which aims at helping students with special needs, learning disabilities, behavioral disturbances and social and psychological problems.
The school is distinguished by its activities, which enhance and strengthen students’ character. Some of these activities are the reading project, the writing project, dancing, drama, arts and handcrafts, choir, etc.
There is also a film project. Inspired by the novel “Lord of the Flies” from William Golding, the school is co-producing a movie with the Al-MAWRID teacher development center, called “The Secret World”. This movie is a Palestinian adaptation of the novel. The theme of the movie revolves around unfolding the mysteries of life, self exploration and the renewal of hope and faith for the future.
Furthermore, in co-ordination with Save the Children organization, the school is running a program called “Injaz”. This program aims at preparing the students for their future studies and careers. Experts from the private sector meet the students in their classes regularly and train them in management issues.
VISION: Currently around 150 students study in the new building, in good conditions. However, around 535 students study in two 38 year old buildings, in poor conditions, with leaking windows, old furniture,  an inefficient heating system and a worn out electrical system, etc.
The school hoped for years to follow up with partial maintenance, yet problems persisted, due to the age of the buildings and its facilities. Engineers recommended undertaking a comprehensive maintenance, which involves changing the whole water and drainage system, electricity and heating networks. The school is currently seeking funds for this major project.
PRAYER: God of all knowledge, grant the leaders of the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School divine wisdom to find a way forward in these difficult times. Inspire the teachers with a continued love for their students and for teaching. Give the children minds set on knowledge and hearts that long for your justice and peace. And grant a quick end to their isolation and deprivation. Amen.

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