Press Releases

(Witness): With the beginning of the academic year, no plans have been set to correspond with the crisis afflicting Lebanon and its challenges

(Witness): With the beginning of the academic year, no plans have been set to correspond with the crisis afflicting Lebanon and its challenges, and a call for a state of emergency in the education field

Just like previous years, UNRWA schools manifest a state of instability and confusion as the academic year starts, due to the absence of advance planning by the administration of education, putting around 36500 students in the same problems every year.

Since the beginning of the academic year, the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) has been monitoring the reality of the education field where several challenges were observed obstructing the academic process including:

1.     Overcrowded classes exceeding 50 students in some schools which decreases the quality of learning; this is due to the transferring of students from public and private schools to UNRWA ones.

2.     Great shortage in school needs including:

a.     Limited number of teachers causing them to teach subjects outside their domain.

b.     Shortage in books and desks.

c.      Shortage in fuels which requires from schools to operate generators for four hours maximum. For example, Bissan Secondary School now uses about 400 liters while it used to consume 1500 liters last year.

It is noteworthy that according to UNRWA policy, a class of 50 students must be divided into two sections, but because of shortage in teachers and desks, schools cannot abide by it.


3.     Transportation is still a great burden for parents who cannot cover its expenses for their children especially those living outside the camps, as it costs 22 $ per month in some areas.

4.     Letters of threat by UNRWA Human Resources Department of unfair dismissal to some teachers.

For the sake of minimizing these challenges, the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) has monitored some movements that can put pressure on UNRWA including the meeting of teachers’ union with UNRWA administration of education that in turns has promised to solve overcrowded classes problem by dividing them and providing enough teachers, pending a field examination of the number of students in schools.

In addition, demonstrations of teachers were held protesting against the status quo, Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) has released a statement about this issue, and denunciations launched by many non-governmental organizations.

(Witness) stresses the direct influence of the economic crisis in Lebanon on the education field and the ensuing challenges that hinder the educational process. Because UNRWA schools are also affected by the surrounding circumstances, UNRWA administration bears its responsibility towards Palestinian refugees and has to provide the necessary needs for them. Accordingly, the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) call on UNRWA to:

1.     Set strategic plan to avoid the same problems each year.

2.     Set plan and immediately apply it, like dividing overcrowded classes so that they don’t exceed 40 students.

3.     Provide transportation allowances for those living outside camps to reduce financial burdens on parents.

4.     Involving civil society in developing UNRWA work plans and monitoring its progress, especially in the education sector.


Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)

Beirut 03-10-2022