MAHAK school is a part of the services provided by support services department to maximize the chance of studying for cancer-stricken children, sync them with regular educational plans and return them to the normal life after their remission. The question of ‘Children with cancer cannot go to school but how about the teachers?’ is the philosophy behind the presence of volunteer teachers at MAHAK and other hospitals with oncology wards.
Since 2010, MAHAK school has been commenced to give educational services according to the principles and standards of Ministry of Education to the cancer-stricken children who had to be admitted to hospital for days and months. MAHAK school has succeeded in introducing a lot of these children to special schools for talented and brilliant students.
On the occasion of the ‘World Teacher’s Day’, you will read a summary of an interview with the head of volunteer teachers and one of the psychologists about MAHAK school.
Regarding the history of forming MAHAK school, the psychologist said: “cancer-stricken children mainly concern about two things; their appearances’ change and attending school. Sometimes the oncologists prescribe for children not to attend school or stay away from crowded places and sometimes the parents rather their children skip school which has severe negative impacts on children’s moral.
They always have this worry that they are missing school but their friends are attending their classes regularly. Accordingly the volunteer teachers’ group has been formed to create the chance for every cancer-stricken child to study even though he is admitted to hospital. ”
Meqdad Hassanzade, head of volunteer teachers who initiated his cooperation with MAHAK as a volunteer 6 years ago and has thrived since then to encourage more teachers to get involve with this program, said: “you will not find the classes as we expect; there is no black or white board, there is no teacher’s desk or student’s bench, and you never heard a ring as the start or finish of the class. We hold the class aside the children’s bed. In the morning, it is checked to see which one of the children can attend the class according to their health status.” He also added: “currently, MAHAK School has 23 well-known volunteer teachers who are here only for children.”
He also explained about the method of selecting teachers for MAHAK school and said: “teaching in regular schools is completely different from what is done at MAHAK. Popularity and acceptance of teachers by students play a great role at MAHAK school. In fact, more than teaching, inspiring cancer-stricken children to continue their education along with passing the challenging days of their treatment is an essential pillar of our perspective. The relationship between teachers and students are really important. Accordingly, as the first step, after filling the registration form, those who are interested in working with children directly have to attend a training course during which an oncologist, a nurse, psychologist, head of art therapy and a trainer of teaching methods explain all necessary steps and activities. After passing a test of this training course, they will pass to the next level which is an interview with the head of volunteer teachers.”
He finished his words by: “being a teacher is a very sensitive and heavy responsibility especially when you are teaching cancer-stricken children. Being their teacher is like a bilateral trade, we teach them academic books but what we learn from them is strength, hope and resistance which may never be taught by books.”
We, at MAHAK believe that regular educational programs, maintaining the life quality of MAHAK children and improving their social skills will be realized only through the contribution of our ongoing supporters. We appreciate all the individuals and the organizations whose assistances are a powerful support to keep us moving in the right path to provide our children with the best qualified services.