08 August 2019
Over 700 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will open their doors in time for the new scholastic year 2019-2020 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria within less than a month.
The steadfast support of UNRWA partners and donors is, once again, enabling the Agency to carry out its largest programme: education for more than half a million Palestine refugee boys and girls.
For nearly 70 years, UNRWA has preserved the right to education to Palestine refugee children and has provided inclusive and quality education, including during times of conflict, blockade and occupation, allowing 2.5 million students to graduate from its schools since 1950.
“Any child in the world should be preparing for a new school year these days, and so should Palestine refugee children,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. Access to education is a fundamental right and a pillar of our Agency’s mandate. Quality education is at the heart of human development and the numerous achievers around the world who had attended UNRWA schools can tell thousands of stories about their years in UNRWA schools: we are extremely proud of them all.”
UNRWA operates 709 elementary and preparatory schools in its five fields of operation, including eight secondary schools in Lebanon, providing free basic education for over 530,000 Palestine refugee children. Pupils in UNRWA schools follow the host countries’ national curricula and textbooks, which the Agency enriches to encourage the development of critical thinking skills, empathy and tolerance.
“We are extremely grateful to our donors whose dedication to preserving the right to education has allowed us to announce today that all UNRWA schools in our five fields of operations will open,” added Krähenbühl. Many families will find deep reassurance knowing that their children will be in classrooms come September. The courage displayed every single day by our students in the pursuit of their education despite the challenges of having to cross check-points, live in areas of conflict or under occupation is an inspiration to us all.”