- Title: Palestinian family in Bedouin encampments struggle with remote learning
- Date: 18th January 2021
- Summary: JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK (JANUARY 12, 2021) (REUTERS) SHEEP GRAZING IN FIELD AS 13-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN, WAED BISHARAT, STUDIES IN BACKGROUND VARIOUS OF BISHARAT USING MOBILE PHONE WHILE STUDYING ONLINE MORE OF BISHARAT STUDYING, SURROUND BY SHEEP BISHARAT WALKING IN FIELD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN STUDENT STRUGGLING WITH ONLINE LEARNING, WAED BISHARAT, SAYING: "I struggled to enter the class because of the internet, and I was looking after the sheep. I joined the class late and it was over. I also face difficulty because there is no internet nor devices, as there are other classes on for my sisters, so one has to attend class and the rest of us don't." MEN BUILDING STRUCTURE IN BEDOUIN COMMUNITY SHEEP IN FIELD SHEEP GRAZING AROUND BISHARAT STUDYING VARIOUS OF BISHARAT TRYING TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET TO JOIN ONLINE CLASS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN STUDENT STRUGGLING WITH ONLINE LEARNING, WAED BISHARAT, SAYING: "Those who don't join (online classes) is registered absent, and will miss lessons, will miss important things, that may lead to failing the semester. During (online) class, the teacher checks who is on and who is absent, I had many absences." BISHARAT HANDING MOBILE TO HER SISTER SHAIMA BISHARAT AND WALKING AWAY SHAIMA HOLDING MOBILE SHOWING ONLINE CLASS ON SCREEN AS STUDENTS JOIN VARIOUS OF SHAIMA STUDYING ONLINE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN BEDOUIN STUDENT STRUGGLING WITH ONLINE LEARNING, SHAIMA BISHARAT, SAYING: "We are currently using the Teams app for e-learning and we are facing many difficulties because of the lack of the devices, I attend one class and my sister another one. Also with the electricity, power goes off and on, which makes it hard to keep the mobile fully charged so we may or may not attend (the class)." VARIOUS OF WAED AND SHAIMA'S FATHER BURHAN BISHARAT, FIXING THE ROOF (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FATHER OF STUDENTS STRUGGLING WITH ONLINE LEARNING, BURHAN BISHARAT, SAYING: "Of course, there is solar energy but it's not enough for to cover our needs. We need light, we need electricity during the night to turn on the lights where sheep stay... but sometimes we run-out of electricity. If I want to bring each one a device, I need to pay at least 400-500 Shekels [125-156 U.S. dollars], so when I have 4, 5 students, this is a significant amount (of money), there isn't the possibility to provide each student with a device." VARIOUS OF SHEPHERD LOOKING AFTER SHEEP ISRAELI TELECOMMUNICATION TOWERS NEAR BEDOUIN COMMUNITY VARIOUS OF BEDOUIN COMMUNITY
- Embargoed: 1st February 2021 10:37
- Keywords: Bedouins COVID-19 pandemic Coronavirus E-learning
- Location: JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK
- City: JORDAN VALLEY, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Education,Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001DVQHLCL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Sitting in the field trying to study while watching her father's flock of sheep near Tubas in the northern West bank, 13-year-old Waed Bisharat couldn't log in to her online class.
With no access to the electrical grid and lacking the technology for remote learning, Palestinian Bedouin students in the Jordan Valley are struggling to keep up with e-learning amid school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I struggled to enter the class because of the internet, and I was looking after the sheep. I entered the class late and it was over. I also face difficulty because there is no internet nor devices, as there are other classes on for my sisters, so one has to attend class and the rest of us don't," Bisharat said.
She explained her father needed his phone when out on the hillsides with the flock, and when he comes back home, his six children - still at school and university - take turns to use it for virtual classes. The family can't afford buying enough mobile devices for all the siblings to attend online classes at the same time, Burhan Bisharat, the 48-year-old father explained.
Waed's older sister, Shaima, 16, said that even if they had a phone, there was not always enough electricity and power to keep the mobile fully charged at all times.
Bedouin communities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have struggled with power cuts, electricity shortages and high levels of poverty long before the coronavirus pandemic.
But the lack of electricity and home WIFI has also left the siblings relying on sim cards and 3G, which they say are not enough for remote learning.
The United Nations Development Programme reported in 2013, that 41% of Bedouin families living in Area C of the West Bank, which under the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords is fully controlled by Israel, do not have a source of electricity due to Israeli-imposed restrictions.
(Production: Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh, Roleen Tafakji, Zainahâ€¯El-Haroun)
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