The Minister of Education in the caretaker government, Darem Tabbaa, revealed the start of the implementation of the new dynamic in education by introducing socio-emotional learning at various educational stages. This new protocol will start this year through two sessions per week and will expand in the upcoming years.
In an exclusive interview with al-Watan, Tabbaa stressed that emotional and socio-emotional learning is the most important pillar of education. It helps the student to develop skills for dealing with others and working within a team. It also teaches empathy, tolerance, and acceptance of the other -it is a science that exists in itself.
The minister stressed the importance of learning how to enter the labor market and not rely on the public job offered to the graduate from the state. The student will, instead, learn how to build his own projects, how to enter the labor market, and how to find the right job opportunity on his own.
The fourth basic pillar is the development of self-personality and self-improvement of each student.
He said: ” Within these axes, we are working on developing education and introducing emotional and social learning, which is a necessity. We started this year with two lessons a week. In the future, this type of learning will play a major role and will be included in most of the educational process.
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Tabbaa pointed out that in the past, education focused on mathematics, physics, and science. It neglected music, painting, and sports. In present times, all the international references confirm that learning is based on the right aspects based on socio-emotional learning. This approach would enhance citizenship, belonging, and the physical ability of our students. He added: “Our young population today has bright minds and achieves outstanding results in international scientific competitions. However, it is not qualified for physical competition significantly, in accordance with their scientific capabilities”.
He stressed the need for younger generations to develop social relations because it was shown through the war we are witnessing, that as a social environment we were suffering from self-containment -where we do not know each other. He said: We are now working on the upcoming learning skills so that we know each other correctly. As well as developing life skills, music, sports, and professions (where there will be a curriculum specific for each in the next phase), we are working to include the principles of socio-emotional learning in all curricula.
He clarified that the ministry is currently working on developing concepts of socio-emotional learning and the tactics for learning them in the hands of students. This subject will not only be a theoretical subject but will also be a practical subject that has a variety of activities. Teachers must discover students and the skills and possibilities they enjoy – the students’ initiatives should be enhanced.
He called for the importance of focusing on manual, artistic, and sports skills. He sought to restore the importance of school sports and promoting the musical and artistic aspects. He stressed the importance of the investment law to ensure continuous maintenance of school buildings, follow-up on the subject of educational supervision, think about a new mechanism, and develop an auditing system. He called for the addition of two classes for socio-emotional learning from the first to the eighth grade.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.