During our stay in Jordan Valley we have already met around 30 kids under the age of 12 in different Bedouins communities. Bedouin children have a very difficult life. Ones that we met didn’t have any toys, some didn’t even wear shoes! We were told that in one community there is a football ball but we have never seen them playing. There is literally nothing here that could stimulate their growth and development, maybe except of domestic animals the communities posses which the kids can sometimes interact with.
There was a tent-school recently re-opened by the volunteers in the neighbourhood (you can read about this event under this link), however still without professional teacher, equipment, anything inside. ¨Classes¨ are randomly provided by international or local volunteers. Children are not divided to any kind of groups, regardless to age they have same classes: mostly learning basic alphabet, counting, running, doing simple physical exercises.
Concerning teenagers – we haven’t met any. They work either shepherding sheep or goats or work in Israeli settlements. Children have to help their parents as the latter ones are not able to support all family which normally consists of 7 persons. As they do not start their education early it is very difficult for the kids to enter the educational system. On the top of that, getting to the ‘regular’ school in the city everyday is almost impossible taking into account the distances, lack of public transportation system, irregularity of the Israeli check-points operation hours and, what is the most sad, aggression against Palestinian childrens from the side of the Israeli settlers. Average illiteracy rate in Palestinian Authority is around 7% while in Bedouins communities surely much much higher. The quality of the education here is also poorer than in Europe or Israel.