My School, SAT-7’s pioneering project to provide five years of high-quality primary education in the Arab world, has now wrapped up its fifth and final season. Since the programme was launched in 2015 in response to the war in Syria, SAT-7 has made over 400 episodes covering the region’s curriculum in the core subjects of Mathematics, Arabic, English, Science, and French.
At a time when 13 million children in the Arab world were out of school because of conflict, My School’s goal was to offer the benefits and opportunities of education through televised and online teaching. Its success was clear from the beginning, with many children and parents thanking SAT-7 for the programme’s impact. “My daughter has been watching My School since we were in Iraq, and this is why she is excelling,” said Renalda, an Iraqi mother living in Lebanon. “I cannot thank you enough.”
“Anyone who earnestly seeks education will follow the programme My School,” shared viewer Salem. “The teachers are professional and have great teaching skills. They spare no effort in explaining the material to all viewers regardless of their education level, age or language. They teach with passion and engage with the viewers.”
“My favourite thing to learn on My School is science,” said Aya, 8, from Lebanon. “I like experiments and mixing things.”
What SAT-7 did not fully anticipate was the enormous interest the programme would also attract from children attending poor-quality state schools across the region, as well as from adults who did not receive a decent education in their younger years. By 2018, an estimated 1.3 million people were watching, with the largest audience based in Egypt.
After this, the closure of schools during the pandemic created further unforeseen demand. In the spring of 2020, My School witnessed a huge increase in phone calls, messages, and comments from viewers.
In 2017, My School was also used in more formal classroom settings with young Syrian refugees in a learning centre in north Lebanon. Since 2021, a new partnership with Heart for Lebanon has helped to educate hundreds of refugee children as part of the HOPE school project. Results from both centres showed that the children made significant progress in many areas.
“WORTH FIGHTING FOR”
Dona, a Heart for Lebanon teacher who saw the impact of My School on her pupils, said, “I am proud of every student in this class. I’m proud that they proved to themselves and their teachers that education is worth fighting for.”
Although My School is now complete, the lessons are not over. The five years of teaching will be aired on SAT-7 for years to come and will continue to give life-enhancing opportunities for countless more families. “I am so proud and grateful for the My School project,” said SAT-7 Chief Executive Officer Rita El-Mounayer. “It brought education into homes and refugee camps across the Middle East and North Africa, enabling children and adults to learn key subjects. We pray that many lives will be changed as a result.”