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Helping Fill the Need for Bedouin School Psychologists
August 1, 2012
School psychologists in the Bedouin schools of Israel’s Negev region deal with a host of issues particular to this population including inter-clan feuds that spill onto the schoolyard and emotional fallout from polygamy.
Professionals coming from Bedouin society are perhaps best equipped to help Bedouin schoolchildren through their unique upbringing. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough trained Bedouins to fill the need.
“The situation of the educational system in the Bedouin community is very difficult,” says Prof. Shifra Sagi, the head of the educational psychology track in BGU's Department of Education.
“I would like to enhance and improve educational psychology in the schools. There are now some public counseling services available, but the counselors are mostly not Bedouin,” says Prof. Sagi.
A special program at BGU leading to a master’s degree in educational psychology for Arab-Israeli and Bedouin students was recently revived. There were several graduates from a similar program years ago, but the course was discontinued. Prof. Sagi is willing to do whatever it takes to make the program work this time.
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