Yesterday, Al-Wataniya Private University hosted a special visit from Kareem Reda Said Schools, represented by Ms. Rajaa Ghandoor, the school director, Ms. Rehab Adi, the assistant school director, Ms. Tasneem Asfour, a psychological counselor and a coordinator of the Reading Challenge Program, along with a number of outstanding students in the field of reading. The purpose of the visit was to present and discuss their reading achievements and educational proposals with Al-Wataniya Private University’s Presidency, represented by Dr. Ahed Khuzam and his deputy for scientific affairs, Dr. Hazem Melli.
Dr. Ahed Khuzam welcomed this introductory visit and its organizers as a scientific initiative within the pioneering awareness programs of Al-Wataniya Private University (the Protocol Memorandum) for the Development Program between Al-Wataniya Private University and a number of schools in Hama and Homs governorates, which is approved by the Minister of Education.
This has contributed to opening doors for joint cooperation between educational institutions in coordinating and organizing efforts aimed at raising academic and cultural levels for both students of schools and students at Al-Wataniya Private University.
The discussion began on the importance of reading among students and the significant role that educational institutions play in motivating students to enter into reading through their involvement in Arab Reading Challenge program due to its positive scientific and cultural results on student personality and skills.
Ms. Raja Ghandoor, the director of Kareem Reda Said schools, highlighted the school’s focus on improving students’ cognitive and scientific abilities by stating, “Reading is a unique process that creates a spiritual connection between the reader and the book. Additionally, it has a positive impact on the reader’s personality by raising awareness of life matters and expanding their scientific and cultural knowledge. It also directs children’s interests towards useful matters instead of wasting time using mobile devices or engaging in other non-beneficial behaviors.”
“An Educational Meeting Aimed at Promoting Scientific and Cognitive Advancement for Students.”
Dr. Ahed Khuzam emphasized the true value of reading: ” As an experience that requires students to feel its pleasure and absorb its vocabulary, language, and literary images that contribute to building a large knowledge and literary repertoire for readers. He also stressed the need for educational institutions to move away from traditional teaching methods and transform students from passive recipients of educational curricula to active participants in the educational process. This requires them to share their skills with their fellow students, particularly in (Reading Skills), due to the diverse new ideas and topics it presents.”
In a related context, a number of students from Karim Reda Said Schools shared their different experiences on how they entered the world of reading, as they were among the top students in the Arab Reading Challenge competition at the school level. From the high school stage (Enas Al-Koko, Batoul Al-Ibrahim, Aya Al-Alwani), to the preparatory stage (Farah Al-Jijakli, Sondus Al-Naif), and finally to the elementary stage (Bakr Al-Kurdi), each of them explained the most important benefits they were able to gain during their personal experience in the world of reading.
In this context, Ms. Tasneem Asfour, a psychological counselor and coordinator of the reading challenge, spoke about knowledge and educational gaps among students due to lack of time management and isolation, among other reasons that require focusing efforts on the process of change and discovering students’ interests and developing them, especially in the field of reading as it is the first means for building a cultured civilized person.
Ms. Tasneem Asfour emphasized that the idea of the Reading Challenge competition came as a result of what was observed by teaching staff among students’ love for reading and their desire to learn and experiment. Therefore, school management worked on sponsoring these outstanding students and supporting them through various possible means by creating several competitions related to reading at the school level including novel competitions, poetry competitions, short story competitions, scientific books competitions and others which were a major reason for distinguishing students and achieving their achievements and successes at both local and Arab levels.
As Dr. Hazem Melli, Vice President of Al-Wataniya Private University for Scientific Affairs, emphasized the importance of the Reading Challenge competition for students, stating: “These activities and competitions have a significant impact on students as they are a gateway to expanding their knowledge horizons, which positively reflects on their understanding of the Arabic language and their appreciation of their mother tongue. It also helps them build a strong linguistic inventory. Here comes our main role as educational institutions in supporting students and providing suitable conditions and climate for developing their various abilities.”
This visit was a joint initiative that allowed students to visit Al-Wataniya University’s Central Library building and explore its various contents of scientific, cultural, and historical books as part of a series of cooperative activities between Al-Wataniya Private University and other educational institutions that seek to promote students’ scientific and cognitive level and enable them to experience real university life. It also helps them in determining their academic choices in the future by introducing them to the academic specialties available in the University’s colleges and their various departments.
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