In mid-February 2019, the PMECC administration and staff launched the Reading Competition,
which involved the fourth and fifth graders from the twelve (12) private schools and two (2)
government schools in Bethlehem and its neighboring cities.

Then came the creation of the PMECC website as part of the initial plan, and subsequently, the
program for the Reading Contest as well as its needed online portal development section was
established, which facilitated the work of the PMECC staff and participants online. All this was
made possible through the professional expertise of Mr. Philip Daoud. Simultaneously, the
approval and endorsement of Mr. Sami Marwa, the former Director of the Bethlehem
Directorate of the Ministry of Education for this contest was sought for to ensure full
collaboration of the school directors, teachers and students. Hence, made the smooth
execution of this particular activity among the schools involved. Likewise, the fourteen (14)
schools were provided with one-hundred (100) titles of books in Arabic for their students’ use,
as pre-ordered beforehand from Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Ramallah.

After having drafted the contest guidelines, successive communication and meetings took place
between the PMECC administration, school directors and coordinators for further orientation
and instruction.

The Qualification Round started from Sept. until Dec. 2019. Student-participants accessed the
PMECC website and registered as a challenger under their school as each one used their
respective codes provided to them once they would work online. Each one were required to
read at least 40 storybooks in Arabic within 3 months taken from the challenge book lists or
from the list of books provided to each school by the PMECC organizers.
The participants accumulated points by completing the requirements, based on Point System,
wherein they comply the following:

  • Log in the title and author of the book read, with an equivalent 5 points
  • Provide an excellent summary of each book, with an equivalent of 10 points
  • Give the moral lesson of the story, with one point for each value cited

The last day of the First Round of the Contest was last 31 st of December 2019, of which
participants could no longer enter the Online Portal Development Section beyond this date.
The announcement of the list of participants who qualified for the preliminary or second round
was officially released and posted in our website on the 13 th of January 2020. Out of the 800
number of participants who initially participated, only one-hundred and thirty-nine (139) were
able to make it to the Second Round. And, about 6,808 number of books were read during the
past three months. This was a good indicator of the increased interest in reading among our
young readers.

Based on the result of the number of participants who made it to the Second round, it is
obvious that majority of the School directors and coordinators have really worked hard to
motivate and encourage their students to read, which is the goal of this reading competition.

The Preliminary Round, had started from January 13 and will end on April 25, 2020. Only the
participants who qualified for the Second Round will have to read a maximum of sixty (60)
books within the given time. They will have to follow the same procedure as in the Qualification
round and comply the requirements needed.

Text and photos by:
Monnitte V. Monana