Historical overview

In 1854, the first Patriarch Joseph Valerga sought to establish the Latin Patriarchate schools in the Diocese of Jerusalem. The main goal of their establishment was to preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land and contribute to the development of education. In a local community where education was scarce and schools were few, the Church considers it its duty to provide education to its children, enabling them to attain faith in God. Thus, the schools were established as responsible guardians and nurturers of the system of religious and human values. This call is directed to all peoples to promote comprehensive education for the human person, the well-being of the earthly community, and the construction of a more humane world, where faith intertwines with holistic human development. The educational work of the Church embodies this vision.

Thus, the Latin Patriarchate schools began their educational mission in Palestine since the establishment of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem in 1847, initially known as "parish schools," indicating their affiliation with the parish and the Church. Over the years, the schools evolved, with the General Administration Office of the schools managing their affairs. They currently accommodate approximately 6000 students, spread across 13 schools and kindergartens throughout the country. Of these, 10 schools are in the West Bank: in Zababdeh, Nablus, Ramallah, Aboud, Taybeh, Jifna, Birzeit, Ein Arik, Bethlehem, and Beit Sahour. Additionally, there are two schools in Gaza: the Holy Family School and the Latin School of Gaza, along with a kindergarten in Jenin. The schools employ about 500 teachers, and they graduate over 250 students annually.

Since their inception, the Latin Patriarchate schools have welcomed students from all segments of society, providing a strong foundation in religious, moral, and intellectual education. In doing so, they have enhanced the ecumenical experiences between churches, fostered interfaith dialogue, and promoted good citizenship. Furthermore, the Latin Patriarchate schools are considered parish schools, and it is challenging to envision a vibrant parish in the Holy Land without a school. These schools have also contributed to nurturing vocations to priesthood and monastic life within the diocese.

The Latin Patriarchate schools believe that access to quality education should be within reach for all, regardless of their situation or family income. They support the education costs for needy students and maintain schools in marginalized areas. These schools operate as non-profit institutions, incurring significant financial losses, and their tuition fees are among the lowest compared to other Christian and private schools, making them accessible to all. Additionally, they offer a program for the most impoverished students, providing them with generous discounts or full exemptions. It should be noted that this deficit is covered by the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher.

Throughout this long journey and rich history, the Latin Patriarchate schools have distinguished themselves with their unique and qualitative experience. This has actively contributed to the effective upbringing of generations, preparing them to become virtuous citizens in society and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills for their lives. As a result, the Latin Patriarchate schools have earned a prestigious status and reputation in the educational landscape in Palestine.

Throughout this long and esteemed journey, the Latin Patriarchate schools have distinguished themselves with their unique and high-quality experience. This has significantly contributed to actively nurturing generations, preparing them to become virtuous citizens in society and equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary for their lives. As a result, the Latin Patriarchate schools have earned a prestigious status and reputation in the educational landscape in Palestine.

As part of its pursuit of continuous development to keep pace with changes and advancements, particularly in the field of technology and communications, and to address challenges, compounded by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the educational landscape, the Latin Patriarchate schools have initiated a three-fold strategic plan. Through this plan, they conduct a comprehensive review of their experience and plans, update their programs to align with the latest curricula and educational issues, and incorporate innovative teaching and learning methods. They are redesigning the learning environment to meet the evolving requirements that ensure comprehensive education for their students. This approach guarantees their access to modern and emerging knowledge, proficiency in life, technical, and artistic skills, and the acquisition of human values, all while preserving their national identity, heritage, and culture.

To preserve the historical legacy of the Latin Patriarchate schools and to ensure they remain faithful to their students, the hope for the future, their priorities lie in:

  • Maintaining schools that are friendly and safe for children within a stimulating environment for creativity.
  • Fostering openness, respect, and acceptance of others within the schools.
  • Diversifying learning methods and technology in line with rapid changes.
  • Equipping qualified and appreciated school teams, investing in the growth and professional development of administrative and educational staff to ensure students' comprehensive development and care across academic, social, psychological, and cultural aspects.
  • Promoting faith in God, civic values, and belonging.
  • Collaborating with the Latin Patriarchate, the Ministry of Education, as well as national and international community institutions.
  • Enhancing administrative and financial systems and policies, enabling assessment and accountability systems that inform students, their parents, and the community about the quality of education and students' achievements.
  • Prioritizing early childhood education and providing appropriate quality programs for them.

Latin Patriarchate Schools include:

  • Latin Patriarchate School - Beit Jala
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Jifna
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Al-Ahliyyah College- Ramallah
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Taybeh
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Birzeit
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Beit Sahour
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Zababdeh
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Ain Arik
  • Latin Patriarchate School - St. Joseph - Nablus
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Aboud
  • Al-Hayat Kindergarten - Jenin
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Latin Gaza
  • Latin Patriarchate School - Holy Family - Gaza
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