“Mr. Robot” is an electronic teacher in Gaza to help students focus and interact

Gaza – Engineering science teacher Hassan Al-Razi touched a development among his students at the “Al-Basma Modern School” in Gaza, in terms of interaction and academic achievement, after inventing a “robot” that he shares with teaching, in a unique initiative that is the first at the level of Palestinian schools.

“Mr. Robot” is the name given by Al-Razi and two of his colleagues and co-founders to their interactive robot innovation, and it has received wide resonance.

Al-Razi told Al-Jazeera Net that he is looking forward to developing it and linking it to artificial intelligence, and he hopes that the day will come when the robot will find its way to all Palestinian schools, to spread the benefit.

The idea

The first goal of Al-Razi and his companions behind the creation of the robot was to facilitate the educational process for the students of the modern school, which was established in 2019, only to face, a few months after its opening, instability in the educational process due to emergency procedures due to the Corona pandemic.

Al-Razi (26 years), said that the robot is “a modern innovation and an unusual method in Palestinian schools, and its presence in the classes from the first moment was a source of happiness for the students, and it achieved the desired goal.”

During the past two years, students in the Gaza Strip have been subjected to psychological shocks, resulting from emergency conditions related to the health reality, closing schools and not waiting for the educational process, whether due to the Corona pandemic, or due to the recent Israeli war last May, and according to Al-Razi, this painful reality led to the abandonment of some students study seats, and a decline in the level of academic achievement for a segment of students.

This painful reality prompted Al-Razi and his companions to search for a creative way to help students restore their educational abilities, resume their activity and interaction, and get rid of the negative psychological effects that appeared on them after returning to school seats after months of long and repeated interruptions and dependence on the distance education system via the Internet.

The process of making the robot faced many obstacles due to the Israeli blockade and restrictions (Al Jazeera Net)

Success despite obstacles

The task of making the robot was not easy, and it was interspersed with many difficulties and obstacles, due to the scarcity of many materials and electronic parts in Gaza, as a result of the restrictions imposed by Israel, which prevent many types of goods and merchandise from entering Gaza.

Relying on the “right and wrong” methodology, and by repeating experiments, Al-Razi and his partners reached this model of the robot, which is controlled by a “remote control” and fed it with data and information with which it interacts with students in the classical Arabic language. Al-Razi says, “Feeding the robot with data Text and information he pronounces in Standard Arabic aims to enhance our beautiful language in the hearts of students, which is an important matter, in addition to the importance of developing their scientific abilities.”

The process of making the robot took about two months, and its creators had to use and experiment with many alternatives, to overcome the obstacle of the lack of many electronic supplies, as well as the lack of scientific references in this field in Gaza.

Although the road was arduous, the experience was “enjoyable and fruitful,” according to Al-Razi’s description, who and his partners are looking forward to developing the robot, and providing it with an artificial intelligence mechanism, to be more able to respond automatically without the need to enter text and voice data in advance.

creative methodology

Abdel Rahman Awad, one of the robot’s creators and consultant for the school’s STEM methodology, which is a methodology based on integrating technology into the educational process, acknowledges that the dream of developing a robot is not easy, and requires many needs, whether material or cognitive, that are not available in the besieged Gaza.

Awad, 26, holds a mechatronic engineering degree, and he tells – Al Jazeera Net – that the school was not satisfied with the ministerial curriculum only, but added 4 other subjects prepared by its teachers, including computer science and software and “taught me how to think” and engineering sciences, and adopted teaching in a creative way, through The way to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics into the education system, which was one of the motives for working on the creation of the robot, in order to be supportive of the educational process, especially in the engineering sciences subject, which depends on motivating students and encouraging them to think creatively.

Not a month has passed since the invention of the robot, which has become an essential partner for teachers, sharing conversations with students in grades one to four, and is transferred from one classroom to another, according to Awad, who hopes to manufacture many more advanced models in the near future.

Thanks to this innovation, the school became, according to Awad’s description, a “kiss and shrine” for journalists and those interested, and even students became more attentive and interactive with the teacher.

interaction and discipline

The child, Lamar Jarada (9 years), was among the students who had the advantages of involving the robot in the classroom, in terms of increasing their interaction with the lesson. She told Al Jazeera Net, “I am very happy with Mr. Robot, because he speaks the Arabic language beautifully as if he were a real human being.”

The robot interrupted Lamar’s speech, saying, “Well done,” to put a smile on the students’ faces, and provoke their warm applause. Aseel Al-Habil, a classmate of Lamar in the fourth grade, said: “I like the way he pronounces words, and how he interacts with us in class.”

She added that she had become more keen to review her lessons, and prepare well at home, in order to be able to interact in the school lesson, and receive congratulations and encouragement from “Mr. Robot”, in his response to the interactions with the teacher: “Well done .. a correct answer.”

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