It was a very modest, but warm and heartfelt, ceremony for eighteen Sindiana pupils, the first graduating class of the Sindiana Arab Youth Village High School.
In accordance with the latest government restrictions, only the graduates and their teachers were allowed to attend the ceremony along with a few honored guests. Parents, families and friends were able to see the ceremony and their childrens’ shared videos on social media.
Opened in September 2017, Sindiana is a unique collaboration between the Society for Advancement of Education, Jerusalem, and a group of social entrepreneurs and education professionals from the Arab community, together with Givat Haviva and the Menashe Regional Council. The school and residence was developed and established in order to train a group of young Arab leaders, who will be involved with and influence their society.
Andera Biadse, the principal of Sindiana said she was especially gratified “to see the first graduates who had achieved so much getting ready to begin academic studies”. Eitan Moran, Executive Director of the SAE, added that “This first graduating class paves the way for brave talented boys and girls, who desire change, who desire only the best for their people and society in general; in one word – leaders. Graduates of Sindiana, we congratulate you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!”
One of Sindiana’s founders and now parent’s committee chair, Ali Haider. Esq., SAE’s Director of New Initiatives and Programs was also on hand at Sindiana’s first graduation.
The 8 girls and 10 boys who graduated completed their matriculation exams in biology, chemistry and physics and when their final scores come in, they all expect to be applying to Israel’s academic institutions for the 2020-2021 school year.
In its third year of operation Sindiana’s was comprised of 15 classes with 370 pupils in grades 7 to 12, taught by a dedicated staff of 38 teachers (8 men and 30 women). The dormitory housed more than 30 pupils from the Galilee and the Negev.
Despite the uncertainties of the Corona pandemic, Sindiana has registered 420 students for next year who will attend school physically or virtually or through a combination of both, depending on the directives soon to be announced by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.
New elective subjects for matriculation will be added including agriculture, theater and diplomacy/international relations. The staff will increase to 42. After school programs will include workshops in leadership, entrepreneurship, personal development via English, Zoomba and a program in the great works of literature.
In addition, with the assistance of philanthropy from Israel and abroad, two new programs will be initiated — Staff Enrichment to develop new understanding, awareness and cooperation for the teaching staff, and the Sindiana Academy to provide the students with additional learning, field-trips and activities to better prepare them for the challenges of academic studies in Israel.
The Society’s resource development department continues to work intensively in Israel and abroad to secure philanthropic funding for the new campus building at Givat Haviva with the hope that the ground-breaking ceremony will take place in 2021.