New Academic Year, Thousands of Gazan Students Can’t Return to School

The new academic year has begun in Palestine, but there are still thousands of Gazan students who can’t return to school due to damaged educational facilities and financial crisis among Gazan families.

Palestine educational crisis.
Illustration. There are many students in Gaza who still cannot return to school in the new academic year. (AFP/Said Khatib)

ACTNews, GAZA – On August 16, 2021, Palestine has begun its new academic year. However, there are still at least 4,000 students who can’t return to their schools. They are unsure about when or if they will be able to continue their school. The situation is caused by the many damaged educational facilities due to previous Israeli major aggression last May.

During Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, at least 51 educational facilities were damaged, including a UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) training centre, 46 schools, two kindergartens, and parts of the Islamic University of Gaza.

The UNRWA spokesperson said, “the situation is being resolved”. For now, the students are attending other UNRWA schools, in different shifts, while they wait for clearance and are allowed to, hopefully, return to the schools they are familiar with.

In addition, economic difficulties faced by many Gazan families also increase the risk of student dropout, as it puts pressure on children, particularly boys, to help support their households with additional income and leaves some families unable to pay for transportation or school materials.

Firdaus Guritno from ACT’s Global Humanity Response (ACT-GHR) team responds that ACT and Generous Benefactors continue to assist and solve the problem. Before the new academic year began, ACT has delivered assistance to support the educational sector in Gaza including a school bus, school equipment for underprivileged students, and scholarships for deaf students. 

Insha Allah, assistance for the Gazan students will continue to come along with support from the benefactors,” Firdaus concluded.[]