Seven Crafts - سبع صنايع

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منذ فترة التقيت مع هانى الجمل للحديث عن مشروعه سبع صنايع . اليكم كلام هانى عن سبع صنايع
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“نحاول في “سبع صنايع” أن نتعلم من كل ما سبق. نحاول أن يكون التعليم مرتبطا بالحياة وليس منفصلا عنها. نعامل الأطفال كالكبار لكي تكون عملية التعليم فعالة ومتبادلة وممتعة للجميع. نحترم إختلاف الأطفال ونفهم أهميته للحياة. نحاول إن أمكن أن نتفاعل مع محيطنا ونشتبك مع واقعنا فالمدرسة ما هي إلا مركز للبحث العلمي المرتبطة تطبيقاته في الأساس بحل مشاكل المجتمع. نحاول أن يتعرض الطفل لأكبر قدر من التجارب والخبرات الحياتية وأكبر قدر من الفنون والعلوم والحرف والمهارات المختلفة. نبحث عما يمكننا ويمكنهم معنا إضافته للعالم. نحاول أن نستفيد بأقصي درجة من كل ما حولنا. مصادر المعرفة كثيرة وليست حكرا علي أحد. كل شخص في المجمتع من أولياء الأمور ومن الأطفال يملك ما يفيد به الآخرين ويعلمهم إياه. نحاول أن نخرج كل الطاقات الإيجابية الموجودة في المجتمع. نحاول أن نجعل الأطفال مستقلين وأحرار عن طريق إمتلاك الأدوات والمهارات المتعددة. نحاول أن نثبت للمصرين أن المشكلة أبدا لم تكن في البخت الضائع، ولكنها كانت في إنعدام المهارات،في إنعدام الصنايع”.

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من أكتر من 3 سنين وانا بعلم أولادى خارج المدرسة. حاليا أسست وشغال( مع عاطف وفريق عمل صغير ) على “سبع صنايع” عبارة عن مساحة لتبادل الخبرات والمعرفة والتعلم بالتجربة.
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بعد فتره من تجربة التعليم من المنزل باستخدام المناهج الامريكيه, الولد فى الاخر بيدرس نفس المناهج اللى تدخله من اعدادى لثانوى للجامعه عادى وممكن او بنسبة كبيرة الحياه اللى حيطلعلها حتكون مختلفة تماما عن الحياة حاليا. انا بحاول اخليهم يدوروا ويجربوا ويشوفوا ازاى عايزين يكملوا فى الحياه بعد كده.
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وده شىء طبيعى بيحصل فى التحولات الاقتصادية وحاليا الاقتصاد بيتجه للاقتصاد القائم على المعرفة اكنر فى ما بعد الثورة الصناعية. مثلا الوظائف فى القطاع الزراعى القرن العشرين فى السوق الامريكى قلت من 40 % ل 2% بس بنهاية القرن, نفس الشىء فى القطاع الصناعى من 30% فى الاربعينات ل 10% بنهايه القرن. حاليا فى وظايف كتيره مهدده بالاختفاء لصالح الروبوت, محامين- دكاتره-محللين بيانات-خبراء بورصه ….الى اخره . قدره الروبوت على تحليل كم المعلومات الهائل ده اكبر بكتير من اى انسان بالتالى الشغلانات حتقل على الاقل حتبقى بنسبه 8-2 فى بعض المجالات.
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فمنظومه التعليم اصلا بتختلف, حتى المنظومه العالميه بيتم اعاده التفكير فيها, فاحنا اولى عشان احنا هنا معندناش تعليم اساسا. فاحتجنا نعمل مكان الناس تنزل تشتغل فيه وتشتغل مع المجتمع اللى عايشين فيه. بمعنى انهم يحاولوا يلاقوا حلول لمشاكل المجتمع اللى عايشين فيه ويتعلموا فى نفس الوقت. ( طبعا حاليا فى الوضع الحالى صعب انك تعمل استبيانات مع سكان الاحياء فمنقدرش نشتغل على حلول كبيره حاليا بس هى خطوات )
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حاليا ابنى الكبير (16 سنه ) هو مصمم الجرافيك بتاع سبع صنايع , بيشتغل معانا بمرتب, وبيعمل شغل حر عن طريق الانترنت فى بعض الاحيان. هو جرب يتعلم تطوير برمجيات فى الاول بس معجبهوش ولقى نفسه فى التصميم والجرافيك اتعلم عن طريق الانترنت وحاليا بيشتغل وهو 16 سنه.
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ابنى الصغير (11 سنه) لقى نفسه اكتر فى الشغل اليدوى فى الاوريجامى وشغل الجلد الطبيعى وحاليا هو بيدى ورشه “ازاى تعمل محفظه جلد طبيعى” فى سبع صنايع للشباب من سن 6-12 سنه. هو ببشترى الادوات ويجهز للورشه لوحده.
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التعليم فى سبع صنايع قايم على التجربه وعشان كده بنستضيف ذوي الخبرة من مجالات مختلفة لمشاركة أعضاء سبع صنايع خبراتهم دي و مساعدتهم في البدء بالتجربة في أسرع وقت. بنحاول نعرض الاطفال لتجارب مختلفه. مثلا نروح المتحف المصرى مع حد متخصص فى الاثار يحكى عن ازى الاثر ده اتبنى وحكايه الكشف عن الاثر وبكده بيكتشفوا التاريخ بطريقة مختلفه تماما عن كتب المدرسه. بنوفر ورش فى مجالات مختلفه من التصوير والزراعه و الفلك والنجاره والمسرح واعاده التدوير واسعافات اوليه و ورش علميه زى “ازاى الطياره بتطير” فى ورش بتبقى عباره عن مقدمه للعلم او المجال ده وفى مسارات تانيه مكثفه زى تصميم الجرافيك او تطوير البرمجيات ده ممكن يكون كورس مكثف يعلم صنعه.
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التعليم عن طريق التجربه مفيد جدا وبيفرق ,انا نفسى طلعت مهندس عشان فى المدرسه مكنتش بحب احفظ التاريخ والجغرافيا وكنت بحب الرياضيات والفيزيا بس معرفتش يعنى ايه علوم انسانيه او جغرافيا غير لما كبرت وعرفت قيمتها فى الحياه وقريت وعرفت حد زى جمال حمدان وازاى كتب عن شخصيه مصر ودى جغرافيا بس مش زى اللى درستها فى المدرسه زمان.
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من مزايا سبع صنايع ان الناس كلها بتتعلم مع بعض مفيش تفريق على اساس السن. الاطفال بتعاملوا كناس مسئوله مفيش فرق بين كبير وصغير. حتى فى ورش الجلد والنجاره بيحضرها ناس كبيره فى سن الجامعه. بيجلنا ناس فى سن الجامعه ومابعد الجامعه عايزين يتعلموا تعليم حقيقى يساعدهم انهم يلاقوا شغل.
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بنوفر انشطه تانيه فى المكان, حاليا بنستضيف الاجتماعات لمجموعات دراسيه بتدرس عن طريق الانترنت (moocs ) بنعرض افلام ومناقشات بعدها. وممكن نعمل بعد كده نوادى متخصصه زى نادى للمهتمين بالفلك او الفيزياء مثلا.
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وفى العموم مستعدين لتبادل الخبرات مع الناس اللى تبجرب فى المجال فى اى حته فى العالم بحيث نعلم ونتعلم مع بعض.
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حاليا احنا متواجدين فى مكان واحد فى زهراء المعادى. بس نتيجه للى احنا بنقدمه مفيش ناس كتيره بتقدمه ( فى طلب كبير الى حد ما ) بيجلنا ناس من مناطق مختلفه وبعيده حتى من الهرم او من مصر الجديده. اامل ان يكون بعد كده فى كل حى مكان للتعليم الذاتى, وانك تلاقى المهارت مش مكلف لان ممكن كل واحد يشارك خبرته من شغله , مثلا واحد شغال مصور بيجى يدى ورشه عن التصوير, مره مثلا اخويا ادى ورشه عن اداره المشاريع, انا مره اديت ورشة عن الاحتمالات, عاطف دايما بيدى ورشه ممتعه جدا عن ازاى الطياره بتطير.
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الورش بتزيد وفى اقبال علىها. الورشه بتتكون من حوالى 8-10 افراد وبنقدم منح للغير قادرين, ربع الورشة بيبقى بمنح بيدعمها ناس مؤمنين بالفكره.
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طبعا من مشاكلنا الاستدامه الاقتصاديه, حاليا فى الاجازه الصيفيه فى اقبال كبير علينا بس الخوف ان فى الشتا الاقبال يقل لان الناس بتبقى مشغوله فى المدارس وبتدفع برده فلوس كتير فى المدارس فورش جمب المدرسه بتبقى ساعات عبىء اقتصادى على الاهالى. بالرغم من ان الاهالى مؤمنين تماما باللى احنا بنعمله بس فى الاخر مضطرين يدفعوا فلوس كتير فى المدارس عشان اولادهم ياخدوا الشهاده. الشهاده دى مش بس حتساعده انه يلاقى شغل بالمفهوم التقليدى بس دى حتنقذ ولادهم من 3 سنين خدمه فى الجيش. فاحنا ماشيين عكس التيار تماما بس فى ناس كتير مؤمنه وبتساعدنا.
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الورق الرسمى مشكله حقيقيه بتقابلنا ( الاطفال المتعلمين بره المدرسه ) حتى فى اصدار بطاقه شخصيه او جواز سفر.
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فى الاخر مجتمع سبع صنايع مجتمع تعليم ذاتى وبنحاول ننشر ثقافه التعليم خارج المدرسه, طبعا ان الناس تتطلع ولادها من المدرسه ده فى مخاطر كبيره مش لازم الناس كلها تعمل كده حاليا بس على الاقل ميدوش المدرسه اكبر من حجمها. ودى معظم الاستراتيجيه الاهالى عندنا هنا بيتبعوها , مش لازم التفوق الدراسى فى المدرسه المهم التعليم الحقيقى.
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لحد الان المشروع شغال بيصرف على نفسه, بس طبعا فى اى وقت ممكن اضظر اقفل لو مفيش فلوس, هو فى الاول مشروع متسجل كشركه استثمار منى انا وصديقى وبيساعدنا بعض الناس من دوايرنا القريبه. ( منقدرش نلم تبرعات مثلا لان قانونا احنا شركة ). احنا شغالين على نطاق صغير عشان المشروع يكمل اطول فتره ممكنه بالتالى بننشره فى الدواير المهتمه زى مدى مصر او هنا بس مش بننشره على نطاق كبير (زى برامج تليفزيونيه مثلا )
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I while ago I interviewed Hany Elgamal about his work in Seven Crafts. so check it out in Hany’s words.

“In Seven crafts we try to learn from all of past experiences. We try to have education linked to life and not separate from it. We treat children as adults so that the process of education is effective, reciprocal and enjoyable for all. We respect the difference of children and understand its importance to life. We try, if possible, to interact with our surroundings and cling to our reality as “the school” is basically a center for scientific research whose applications should be related to solving the problems of society. We try to expose the child to the greatest experience of life and the greatest amount of arts, sciences, crafts and various skills. We look for what we can together add to the world. We try to make the most of everything around us. Sources of knowledge are not exclusive to anyone. Everyone in the community, parents and kids, have something to benefit and teach the others. We try to get out all the positive energies in society. We try to make children independent and free by having multiple tools and skills. We try to prove to the Egyptians that the problem was never in the bad luck, but it was in the lack of skills.”

Since 3 years, I have been homeschooling my children. Now I founded, with Atef also and a small team, seven crafts; a space for knowledge and experience exchange and for learning by doing.

After a while from my experience with homeschooling using American curriculum, I found out that my children are learning the same curriculum that gets them in the system from preparatory school to highschool to university, just the normal educational path and most probably in the end the life that they will experience after that will be much different than the life now. I am trying to make them experience and see and choose for themselves how they want to move forward in their life.

Life is changing, that’s normal in the current economical transformation as the economy moves to be based more on knowledge in the post-industrial era. For example; jobs in the agricultural sector in the american market dropped from 40% at the beginning of the 20th century to only 2% by the end of it, same in the industrial sector which dropped from 30% in the forties to 10% by the end of the century. Currently there are a lot of jobs that could disappear and get replaced by robots; lawyers-doctors-data analytics-stock exchange agents-…, as robots are more efficient in data analysis, so at least a lot of jobs will be reduced ( could reach to 2 humans -8 robots in some fields )

So the educational system is already changing, event it is being reconsidered internationally, and we have the priority or urgency to do so as we don’t have a “functional” education system in egypt. That ‘s why we needed a community space to learn together and try to solve our problems. ( Currently, under the current situations the country, we can’t make big public survey or bigger public interaction with the wider community of our neighbourhood, but we are preparing the steps to do with our smaller community )

Now my older son ( 16 years old) is the graphic designer for “seven crafts” he works with us with a salary, and also does sometimes freelance jobs via the internet. He tried to learn development but didn’t like it and found himself afterwards in graphic design, he taught himslef and now he is working.
My other smaller son ( 11 years ) found himself more in the handcrafts, in origami and leather work, now he gives a workshop “how to make a natural leather wallet” for kids ( from 6-12 ) at “seven crafts” he prepares the workshop and buys the leather by himself.

Learning in “Seven crafts” is based on experience; that’s why we host experienced people from different fields to share their knowledge with us. We let the children pass by different experiences in order to learn. For example, we make trips to the egyptian museum with an archeologist who tells them the stories of the artifacts, how it was build, and how it was discovered, and this way they learn the history in a totally different way than the school books. We offer workshops in various fields such as: astronomy, agriculture, photography, woodworking, theatre, recycling, first aid, scientific themes like “how does the plane fly?” . Some are kind of introduction or quick crash course for the topic, others are more of an intensive learning track or course that gives the kids a craft to work with like software development or graphic design.

Learning through this kind of experiences is very different and beneficial, I myself became an engineer because in school I didn’t like humanities or geography, from the way it was taught I had to memorize a lot of information that I don’t want to know, and was more into mathematics and physics, I only knew the value of humanities when I grew up and experienced life and started reading for people like Gamal Hemdan ( and his book the character of Egypt) , and realize that’s interesting, wait that’s geography ……but it is very different than the way I was taught it should be in school.

One of the benefits of Seven crafts is that the people learn together, there is no discrimination based on age. Children are treated like responsible adults, even in some workshops like the wood working or the leather works some university students attend them among other participants. Even we are being approached by University students and graduates who want to learn real education and useful skills to join find better jobs.
We offer other activities at our space, We host meetings for groups who are learning via MOOCs, we make movie viewings with discussions. We may in the near future initiate or host some interest-based clubs, for astronomy or physics or so… In general we are open to exchange experiences with other people who are experimenting in the same filed in any place in the world and to learn from each other.

Currently, we are operating from one place in Zahara’ El-Ma’ady , Cairo but due to the fact that there are not so many places that offer what we are offering, people come to us from different and relatively far neighborhoods in Cairo. I hope that in the near future every neighborhood will have its own self-learning center. It is not expensive to find people who want to share their skills, everyone in the community can offer what he does best, for example a full time photographer comes and gives workshops on photography, My brother gave a workshop on project management, I gave a workshop on “probabilities” , Atef always makes his amusing workshop about “how does the plane fly?”.

Our workshops are increasing and there is need for them, everyone consists of 8 to 10 people and we offer “scholarships” for the ones who can’t pay. Mainly ¼ attend the workshop with scholarships paid by people from our community who believe in the idea.

Of course we are facing a financial sustainability challenge, Now we are at the school summer break and there are a lot of people attending our activities, the number might decrease in winter as the people get busy with the schools timewise and financially wise as school fees became a big financial burden. Some parents believe that what their kids learn in seven crafts is much more important than the school but they have to pay the school fees every year for their kids as the school and university will not only provide their kids with a certificate but it will save their kids from serving 3 years in the army. So we are moving against the stream but we are surrounded by people who believe in what we are doing. ( the paper work is a very serious problem for homeschoolers even in making and ID card or passport )

In the end, seven crafts’ community is a self learning community trying to raise the culture of learning outside schools, of course for people to get their kids outside schools that’s a very big risk , it is not necessary that people do so now but at least don’t give the school more importance than it requires and this is the main strategy adopted by the parents in our community ( learning real knowledge is much better than being the first in school )

Till now the project is working and covers its expenses, but of course if money runs out will have to close. In the end this is legally registered as a company as an investment done by a friend of mine and myself and supported by people in our circles. We are operating on a low profile and spreading the world only in the interested circles like Mada Masr or here at edgeryders but not in TV programs for example till now.

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it is a huge experiment @hazem , form a magnificent man, very grass rooted and deep trail, i think his experience is one of the best in community moralization and grassroots planning … i have a lot of comments questions on the initiative i will bring them later!

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Hi @hazem I really liked the name of the space :smiley: so is Hani the founder / cofounder of this space or he is just a member of the community ?

hany is the cofounder of the space, he is been involved in an alternative education journey with his kids for the past 3-4 years

SO interesting. It would be good to think about how me might be able to collaborate/support one anothers’ work. Think you can ask Hani?

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