Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has finished the construction and furnishing of the new building for the College of Ability Development in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, as part of QRC's major program to develop and rehabilitate Gaza's higher education institutions with a $5 million funding from Al-Fakhoora Campaign and the Programme of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Reconstruction of Gaza, under the supervision of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Talking about this important project, Dr. Jean Calder, Dean of the College, described the launch of the expansion project in 2013 as a distinct event, as it helped improve the environmental and educational settings of the College.
"We had great difficulties in the past. The old building was too small and was not fit for disabled students. The new one is bigger and allows the management to hold student activities and events," she added.
The College, Dr. Calder pointed out, seeks to introduce disability services instructors. "Both the academic and administrative staff of the College are very happy that the building was completed in record time. This will help us add classrooms and enroll more students. The College will work hard to develop its programs and services, towards its mission of providing the local community with well-trained graduates specialized in disabilities," she concluded.
Eng. Abdullah Al-Madhoun, QRC's supervisor of the project, said the $340,000 project involved building and furnishing two additional floors, with special facilities for disability-convenient access. The project, he stated, will hopefully achieve its goals of offering new educational tools for the College's management and students, helping them do any activities and events on a larger scale in the future.
Established in 1995, the College of Ability Development is owned by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and is academically supervised by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The College grants a bachelor's degree in special needs education and rehabilitation, graduating specialists in all kinds of disability - educational, mental, psychomotor, hearing, visual, and behavioral. The learners acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills to deal with disabled people and their families, both in the educational and social contexts, to facilitate social integration and ensure rights, services, and opportunities for them. Recently, the College has approved an emergency medical technician diploma program, which qualifies graduates to take care of accident victims and injuries.