(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
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
Great shortage in school needs
Limited number of teachers
causing them to teach subjects outside their domain.
Shortage in books and desks.
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.
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.
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
(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:
Set strategic plan to avoid
the same problems each year.
Set plan and immediately apply
it, like dividing overcrowded classes so that they don’t exceed 40 students.
allowances for those living outside camps to reduce financial burdens on
Involving civil society in
developing UNRWA work plans and monitoring its progress, especially in the
Association for Human Rights (Witness)