#Backtoschool in the West Bank
AHEAD OF THE OPENING OF NEW SCHOOLS IN THE WEST BANK, ISRAELI FORCES CONFISCATED CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL FOR A SCHOOL IN AREA C
4th September, 2020
The Palestinian Ministry of Education (MoE) plans to reopen schools on September 6th, 2020, despite the ongoing fight against COVID19 and the ongoing Israeli violations impacting the education sector.
On Monday 31st August 2020, Israeli forces and the Israeli Civil Administration Authority raided Ras Al Tin community, located in Ramallah Governorate. This community is designated as Area C of the West Bank, therefore Israel retains near exclusive control, including over law enforcement, planning and construction. Israeli Military targeted the only school under construction by the community and confiscated material necessary to finalize the school, provided by European Union DG ECHO and other EU Member states.
The school would have served 50 students in the community who used to walk around 5 km crossing an unsafe bypass road to access the school in nearby Al Mughayyer village.
The Ministry of Education is hampered from providing educational facilities in Area C due to Israeli polices, which prevent Palestinians from having even the basic infrastructures for their daily life, such as schools or hospitals.
Just in the 3-months period between January and March 2020, the UN-OCHA Education Cluster reported 19 incidents caused by Israeli Military in the West Bank affecting about 400 students.
In 2019 alone, 20,000 Palestinian students were directly affected by numerous violations at the hands of Israeli authorities that hampered their right to education. Challenges in accessing quality education affect learning outcomes and lead to a rise in school drop-outs
Reported education-related incidents are on the rise, with 328 recorded cases in 2019, as compared to 206 cases in 2018. In 2019, these incidents affected 19,913 students overall.
51 Palestinian schools are currently under threat of demolition -43 located in Area C and 8 in East Jerusalem- having received partial or full demolition order, in addition to or stop work order due to lack of building permits, which are rarely issued by the Israeli authorities due to the political situation. About 5,200 students are affected by this situation that prevents both the maintenance and expansion of school infrastructures.
The hostile environment in the oPt severely impacts the psychosocial condition and development of children, thereby further adversely impacting their capacity to receive an education of an acceptable standard.
The Humanitarian Country Team estimates that 265,000 Palestinian children are in need of psychosocial support, according to Humanitarian needs overview report on 2019
The international community is request to address with the outmost urgency the issues faced by the Palestinian education sector, taking all necessary measures to avoid the damaging or destruction of educational infrastructures, to end administrative demolition of educational facilities and to revoke demolition orders in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.
***All presented data and numbers provided from UN-OCHA