Al-Sayyid Bedouin High School
Al-Sayyid is a Bedouin village located in between Arad and Be’er Sheva. It is home to approximately 5,000 residents. The demographics in Al-Sayyid are notable for two main reasons, first because half of the village’s population are under the age of 18 and second because Al-Sayyid is known to have the highest rate of hearing-impaired and deaf citizens in the whole world, with a full 9% of the town’s population falling under one of these categories.
The Al-Sayyid High School was established in 2015 and currently hosts 600 students, although this number is expected to jump to over 1000 within the next two years. As reflects the town’s demographics, a large portion of the students are hearing-impaired or deaf. This high school earned the attention of JNF UK due to its commitment to academic excellence as well as its policy of encouraging Bedouin engagement in mainstream Israeli society. The school has even reached agreements with the Israeli Airforce and the Israeli Ministry of Education to launch the Shachrut scheme, which trains students to be part of a technical support unit for the Airforce and enables them to enlist after they finish high school.
The Al Sayyid Bedouin High School not only faces the same challenges that every new academic institution faces, but also has the extra burden of catering to the town’s many hearing-impaired students. JNF UK has created and equipped two computer rooms and we are in the process of planning the construction of a sports field to bring the school up to the standard of most other Israeli schools.