The entire student body of The Evangelical Lutheran School of Hope -- clad in new, pressed uniforms -- entered its new building this August to welcome a new start for the West Bank school community.
“There is more space and it is more like a school. It will reflect on their education,” said Mr. Yazet Abu Hazarahn the father of four Hope students grades eight, seven, four and kindergarten.
In 2011, the cornerstone for the new building was laid with gifts from the European Union (through the Palestinian Ministry of Education) and The Kuwaiti Arab Development Fund (KADF) which contributed to the school building, the community center, and a recreational pool.
The ELS is thankful for these generous gifts.
The new school of Hope in Ramallah is one of four Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) Schools in the West Bank, with a co-gender educational history extending back to 1851. Evangelical Lutheran Schools (ELS) currently serves more than 2,100 students.
GRADES K-12 scurried about the courtyard of the new building, reuniting with friends and chattering about the new, spacious school that they can now call their own.
The main floor where students entered this morning is divided into three sections.
The first section is equipped with classrooms for first through sixth grades, the second section is for seventh- through tenth-grade classrooms, and the third section is eleventh through twelfth grades. The kindergarten classes are on the ground floor.
Also on the ground floor are three science laboratories, computer labs, and a conference room. The upper level houses a library, the arts, and music.
The architectural plan was created in two phases. The completed phase one is where students began the 2017/2018 school year and include: technology-equipped classrooms and garden coves throughout the building that can be viewed as the students pass by in the halls, or can be used for agricultural education projects, like gardening, or other horticultural experiments. The Evangelical Lutheran School’s Environmental Education Center (EEC) plans to help teachers develop a curriculum that uses these outdoor spaces.
The school of Hope Ramallah is where Christian and Muslim parents alike place their hope --- in a stellar education from the private Lutheran school that would most likely ensure admission to local and international colleges and universities for their children.
"We have started in a new building, with a new administration, as well as with a new philosophy, so these three main factors will drive us to have a high level of cooperation and coordination. Afterall, our pupils are our main target," Hope Principal Muallem said as students began their studies for the day.
A convocation and an inauguration are planned for November.