The Palestinian Technical College in Deir Al Balah has more
than 1500 students, and already 2500 youth that graduated from their 23
different degrees. Despite the high youth unemployment in the Gaza Strip, there
are some degrees like hotel management and TV media where almost all (95+%)
graduates have found a job.
One of the secrets of the success of the school is its awareness of the importance of cooperation with the private sector. So far each student could follow an internship in the private sector for a couple of days, but the school has realised this is not enough to prepare them for the labour market. Therefore, since this year, the college has implemented a Work Based Learning (WBL) scheme, funded by the Belgian state and implemented by the Belgian Development Agency. The WBL scheme allows students to combine theoretical classes in the college with practical skills in the private sector.
The first degrees where the scheme has been implemented are the degrees in photography and media programme producing. The students enrolled in this scheme are combining theoretical classes with a half-time internship in the private broadcasting radio station of Fursan Al Irada. More than 50 students applied for the scheme. Based on the grades of the students as well as their motivation, 15 students were selected, 10 male and 5 female students. As places are limited and the demand is high, the selected students were requested to sign a commitment statement with the school to decrease the chances of drop-outs.
“The students retain more details when explaining them the theory, because they can directly understand the practical use of the courses”
To support the students throughout this new scheme, the technical college has recruited a supervisor, especially for this WBL initiative. Together with the teacher and the coach from the radio station, she follows up on the progress of the students. The teacher himself went to visit the students twice during their first month of internship. The biggest difference is that they have more advanced skills than in a regular programme. He has noted that they retain more details when explaining them the theory, because they can directly understand the practical use of the courses. Furthermore, he doesn’t have to teach them everything anymore, and can now focus on those skills they do not acquire inside the private radio station. Thus, the cooperation with the private sector has made his teaching easier.