Educators at the DP camps found themselves confronted with serious hurdles, such as illiteracy among the students, lack of concentration, and the absence of a uniform language of instruction.
In addition, they had to restore the faith and confidence in the adult world that these youngsters had lost during the war. In many cases, it was not only confidence they had lost, but essentially their entire childhood. The horrors of the Holocaust had turned them into adults overnight.
The survivors hailed from the most diverse European countries and while some had lost their skills during the war years others had never had a chance to learn anything.
Moreover, there was a shortage of classrooms, textbooks, notebooks and other equipment. Initially, there were no professionally-trained teachers in most of the DP camps, but competent teachers were soon dispatched from Eretz Israel, the United States and England. As well as core subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics, Hebrew, Jewish history and the geography of Eretz Israel were included in the curriculum. The orthodox community supervised the establishment of yeshivot (Talmudic colleges).
In addition to raising the younger children, youth education was organized in order to prepare the teenagers for their future working lives. This comprised sewing and tailoring classes, Hebrew lessons and agricultural training.