Hebron University - In The Meeting of The Press Club…Al-Ja’abari Demands A Comprehensive Strategic Plan To Uplift Higher Education

In The Meeting of The Press Club…Al-Ja’abari Demands A Comprehensive Strategic Plan To Uplift Higher Education



75% of Hebron University Students Are Female  Students  15% of Whom Are Married

Despite the  Circumstances of the Occupation and the Aggressions of the Settlers… The  University Continues its March with Confidence

Jerusalem—Dr. Nabil Al-J’abari chairman of Hebron University Board of Trustees  viewed  that success in Palestinian higher education requires forming  a higher education council which represents all the Palestinians inside and abroad and it should supervise the formulation and  ratifying a strategic  plan  in Palestine which is unified and comprehensive so that we can prepare educated generations who are able  to compete internationally and not only locally or on the Arab level.Al-Ja’abari diagnosed  the reality of Palestinian higher education  through focusing on  the model and experience of  Hebron University. He was talking  in the Wednesday meeting  organized by the Jerusalem Press Club in the Cultural Salon of the Educational Library under the patronage of Hammoudeh Investment Group.

In the beginning, Dr. Al-Ja’abari gave  a brief historical glimpse  about establishing the Palestinian universities the number of which today is  18 universities, colleges and educational institutes. The beginning was in the late 1960s  through an idea by the leadership that there should be one university. However, there was no agreement about the city where this university should be located. Hebron University was established  with Al-Sharai’a College in 1971 and it began by 34 students with the majority of the Palestinians of 1948. This college granted the first BA. Degree  4 years  in Palestine. In this connection it is mentioned that the leaderships of the Islamic movement inside and among its symbols are Sheikh Raed Salah and Kamal Al-Khateeb are among  its graduates. Today the number of its students is 7500 students  of which 75-80% are female students among whom there are one thousand married students. One is proud  to see pregnant female students coming to the University to seek education and knowledge.

Absorbing The Growing Generations

Al-Ja’abari clarified that  the beginnings of higher education and the universities were extremely difficult. The main goal at that time was perhaps absorbing young men  so that they do not go abroad and be  exposed to suffering and loss. The number of the students at Hebron University jumped to  1200 male and female students  after a few years and among them there was a large percentage from Bir Seba’ and the town of Rahat. He said that there is development in the Palestinian universities but it is slow and difficult because the Palestinian  Authority  do not offer real financial support. Among the 40 million dollars allocated to the universities, only 2-3 million dollars were spent last year!

Al-ja’abari compared education between yesterday and today in our universities. Most universities  follow  the system of years of education except Bir Zeit University which  follow the system of the credit hours. We notice  that the universities are in dire need  to larger halls and areas due to the increasing numbers of students and they need a bigger number of professors and lecturers. Also the financial expenses are continuously rising. We really lose  the level of education which we aspire to.. because we want  our graduates  to compete internationally …but  as a result of the different pressures there had been negligence and certain regression…and the professors are more lenient in giving passing grades and facilitating opportunities of success, and this is a problem which needs research to find logical solutions  for it. He emphasized that if we do not  invest  more money  in university education, the result will be more graduates only who are without jobs! … and an army of graduates who are unemployed.

The Absorption  Capacity

He said that   the rise in  the number of female  students in Hebron  University  is due to the conservative environment and that the girl should remain  in her own surroundings. He pointed out that the absorption capacity of the University is practically 750 male and female students every year, but we are obliged to receive double this number, 1600 male and female students. We strive to  follow up this influx  and to expand the areas of the University as much as possible. He mentioned  other differences between the universities of yesterday and the universities today. For  example  Hebron University, the percentage of its students from  Hebron was 35%but today 95% of the male and female students are from the Hebron Governorate. The University has become quite local How can we overcome  this problem. Unfortunately, the concept of higher education in Palestine is not understood. This can be noticed by lack of appreciation for the universities  and their presidents, and this is a dangerous view. Higher education should be viewed  as being science, thought and continuous development towards the better and not merely  a certificate for employment only! Now  intellectual mixing and exchange of ideas are absent among the students of Palestine who used to meet from the extreme north to the extreme south.

He clarified this distinct point  by saying that  Israel noticed until 2000 that the Palestinian  people is in the stage of building its society. It became attentive  to the universities and prisons  to a large extent in building the Palestinian entity. So it began to change this situation. It recoursed  to the policy of separating between Palestinian cities and making  movement  among them difficult and exhausting. Unfortunately, Israel succeeded in dividing the Palestinian people …to the extent that we sign agreements with universities in the world  but it is difficult  to apply this among our Palestinian universities and the relationship among them is not as we wish, like and be proud of. It is inevitable to restore the atmosphere of cooperation and joint aim in confronting the policies of the occupation. He criticized  some practices in the students’ senate elections which are exaggerated in being representative of the Palestinian street  whereas the role of the universities  should be first and last  to spread  thought and knowledge  among the Palestinians. Instead  of this, these  student attractions and elections work to firmly establish Palestinian division. What is strange is that  despite the large numbers of the female students in the University, their role is marginalized and does not reach the size of  their numerical existence. The presence of the woman in University should precede her presence in the Legislative Council or the ministry. Unfortunately, half of the society is still receiving  instructions from the other half! The pattern  of higher education  in Palestine should  be changed in the framework of one  kingdom.. in which the lecturing professor can move among the different Palestinian universities and give his knowledge to all…until we reach the suitable scientific  degree.

Where Is The private Sector?

In response  to a question by the reporter Hasan  Dandees, Dr. Al-Ja’abari demanded  that the private sector  has a role in absorbing the graduates through  the support given by  private sector companies to the universities and investing in them . The aim should be  the ability of the students and the graduates  to compete, pointing out  to the Israeli obstacles and impediments before  developing education  through the daily oppression practices against the students and preventing them  from reaching their universities many times. As for the Palestinian subjective impediments, they are represented in the necessity of changing the prevailing thought…for all our concern  is how to guarantee  the salaries  in addition to the more important  problem which is the absence  of the clear educational strategy.

In the framework of the observation by  Muhammad Suweilem about the huge number of Palestinian universities and the large number of students, about 60 thousand students in Al-Quds open university for example, he said  that the idea of the universities  come in the context of serving  the Palestinian people  and preserving  the Palestinian identity  ultimately with its national and Islamic components. Ultimately, we will have no  exemplary university education unless  we are liberated from the occupation and its practices. All that we do  now is  to attempt to patch up so that we are steadfast on the land. If we get liberated  from the occupation I will be the first one to confront higher education  in its present picture. He expressed his anger because of the continuous Palestinian-Palestinian disagreement which exhausted the people and made it apathetic. In his interposition, Nabil Al-Jolani asked  about  coordination and complementarity among Palestinian universities  to embody a real development plan which  is connected with the inside and broad  and which aims to  develop the society away from interference  in the  universities and preventing them from playing their basic role. Al-Ja’abari responded that it is impossible  to isolate the  universities as the largest gathering  from  the political and societal movement. However, the existence  of a strong and active umbrella which is the council of higher education  contributes  in human investment of the proficiencies  in our universities  through the tools of scientific research  with the participation of the universities and local society institutions     , the proficiencies inside and broad and building a higher educational philosophy  which is capable of preparing  educated generations  which provide the Palestinian arena with all qualifications for  building and development which it needs.

Development And Education

Prof.Dr. Radwan Barakat called  for the importance of  tying education to  comprehensive development and its tool is scientific research .Perhaps there is an interest  in more private universities in order to absorb the increasing  numbers of the Tawjeehi graduates . Jabi Abdullah drew the attention to the role of the schools to begin with  in this hierarchical process  in matters of good preparation for choosing the suitable and required  specializations for the private sector in preparation for  building proficiencies at a local and international  level. Al-Ja’abari viewed that  the level of our students here is better than the levels of the surrounding universities. However without an integrated plan, there remains a big problem. Here there is a role for every  Palestinian citizen  in improving our performance  in higher education so that we are able  to compete internationally because  our capital as Palestinian people is education and we have no other natural wealths. Taking care of the human wealth should the double and on the top of the levels. Also the qualities and levels of   all the students should be reviewed.

Al-Ja’abari, in his response to writer  Maleeha Maslamani, decided hat we  have a shortage in professors and that  qualification is the basic condition for employment regardless of gender  or political affiliation. We always look for the youth element. As for the women element it has the priority. However, we cannot do without  qualification, curriculum vita and direct interview as  mechanism for appointment. It can be said that we at Hebron University have documented  have documented every stone and Quranic verse in the noble Ibrahimi Mosque to the extent that we opened a kindergarten beside the Mosque  to make people steadfast in their houses and to revive Palestinian life there. We do not hesitate in supporting this with every  means within the available potentials. It is inevitable to point out that  Hebron University had been exposed to settlers’ attacks and aggressions, and a number of its students were martyred, tens were wounded, its library was burnt  but it did not surrender. It will continue  in the road of life and the march of knowledge and teaching.

Dr. israa’ Abu-Ayyash suggested  focusing in the philosophy of the Council Of Higher education on encouraging the private sector in investing in the Palestinian universities  and also to get away from  the centrality of the decision  by adopting non-centrality  in higher education which allows the enlistment of all relevant categories in building these pioneering educational edifices. Al-Ja’abari responded  that the equation of coonecting  work to education is the missing link towards arriving at what we aspire for in this domain. However, the family nature of private companies limits  this setting out for cooperation. Imad Muna demanded that education be for all and not politicizing the universities through that the students’ senates be for demands and service for the students. Dr. Al-Ja’abari finished by saying that the role of the students’ senate was necessary due to the exceptional state which is  our existence under occupation. However, there is thinking to make elections  once every two or three years so that efforts will not be dispersed or lose them in a futile way. On how the university is financed, he said that the policy of austerity and recoursing to the Arab brothers  play the most prominent role in paying the expenses and completing the march. As for the Tawjeehi averages, he viewed that he is not with considering Tawjeehi as the only criterion for university education. However, this is connected to  changing the prevailing concepts and searching for other criteria for evaluation and admittance.

The Chairman of  the Board of Trustees and the Accompanying Delegation  Visit the Arabs of Al-Rashaydeh

Dr. Nabil Al-Ja’abari chairman of Hebron Unievsrity Board of Trustees and the accompanying delegation which included  Board of Trustees member Mr. Jawdi Abu-isnaineh, the president of the Unievrsity Prof. Dr. Ahmad Atawneh, the  ambassador of Palestine in Canada Mr. Sa’id  Hamad, the secretary of Fatah in the Hebron region Mr. Kefah Al-Iwaiwi, den of the Faculty of Al-Shari’a Prof. Dr. Hussein Al-tartouri, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture Dr. Sabri Zughayyer, the Adminsitraive Vice President Mr. Zeyad Al-Ja’abari, Mr. Khader Al-Qawasmi, Mr. Abdul-‘Aleem Da’ana, director of the office of the Board of Trustees Dr. Tareq Al-Ja’abari, the director of Public Relations Dr. Amjad Shehab, Dr. Mustafa Shawer from the Faculty of Al-Shari’a and the University security official Mr. fakhri Al-Ja’abari  were the guests of the  Arabs of Al-rashaydeh tribe.

The delegation was received by  Sheikh Ali Ideh Al-Rashaydeh, sheikh  Abu-Hussein Al-Rashaydeh, engineer Fawwaz  Juma’a Al-rashaydeh head of the Arab Al-rashaydeh  village council and a number of the notables of the tribe.

The delegation got acquainted with the living conditions and the difficult circumstances that the tribe faces due to the practices of the Israeli occupation and the scant  support from the Palestinian government. Engineer  Fawwaz Al-rashaydeh  gave a glimpse  about the history of Al-rashaydeh tribe  which is considered one of the most  Arab tribes  whereby it spreads in several countries the most important of which are Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Palestine.

Engineer Fawwz Al-Rashaydeh answered all the questions which  focused on  how  to support their steadfastness on the land of Palestine specially in the fields of education, and supporting  the livestock which is considered on of the pillars  of their existence on the land.

Dr. nabil Al-Ja’abari expressed his pride  in their steadfastness and emphasized for them that  Hebron University will remain open for the students of the tribe  and that it will continue giving any help specially in the academic domain  in order to support their steadfastness  on their lands.

At the end of the visit, engineer Fawwaz Al-Rashaydeh  in the name of the tribe thanked Dr. nabil-Al-Ja’abari and the  accompanying delegation for their interest and help  for  the tribe  in general and the students in particular.

It is worth mentioning  that the number of the  individuals of the tribe  in Palestine alone  is more than forty thousand persons  distributed in several areas. The main occupation of the individuals of the tribe is grazing sheep. They depend on the renewable energy which provide them with electricity to fulfill their needs.


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