The programme started in 2002 in Hebron by the International Palestinian Youth League. Later on IPYL involvement was very attentive to the permission requirements of the Palestinian Ministry of Education and the Directorate of Education in Hebron. In addition to that, IPYL is now the local Palestinian partner for Schools Across Borders Irish NGO.
The program is grant-aided primarily by Irish Aid, the Irish government agency, and receive support from the Mayors of Dublin and Belfast, as well as the national curriculum and assessment secondary school education boards in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The project involves 9th to 11th Grade students in 30 school groups of 23 schools in Ireland, north and south (approx. 750 students in total). The schools in Belfast represent both Nationalist and Unionist communities. In Palestine, our project involves about 70 students of the 10th and 11th Grades from 11 public schools in Hebron and the Hebron District.
Overall strategic aim
Schools Across Borders aims to work within selected secondary school curricula in order to encourage critical analysis, understanding and communication of:
- The diverse perspectives of conflict issues and realities.
Our programme engages secondary school groups in structured analysis and reflection of media portrayals of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of video presentations made with the respective participant Palestinian and Israeli school groups.
We also provide comparative analysis of the continuing conflict-related issues in Northern Ireland related through the mainstream media and by the participant Belfast school groups.
- The essential universal rights, international laws and universal values that all young citizens believe in and require for their personal, social and national development.
We thereby seek to provide students with real opportunities to develop and apply reciprocal and transferable skills.
Visit the Schools Across Borders website at www.schoolsacrossborders.org.