With the beginning of academic year, (Witness) demands UNRWA to provide transportation allowance

With the beginning of academic year, (Witness) demands UNRWA to provide transportation allowance

 

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) is meant to provide direct relief programs and employment for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon while operating 65 schools all over Lebanon within international standards, according to latest statistics of 2019, where 36,960 students are enrolled including 5,254 Palestinian refugees from Syria.

As UNRWA decided to open its schools starting from 15thof September 2022, various challenges are awaiting the academic year which will adopt the in-person learning. Undeniably, it is an effective way of learning where there are face-to-face interactions among students themselves and with their teachers that enhance understanding and acquiring of information, in addition to building new friendships. However, the deteriorated status quo has rendered the return of students to schools a challenging one with the fear of an unstable academic year.

First challenge: increasing expenses of transportation and the inability to cover them:

Palestinian refugees are distributed on camps and gatherings all over the Lebanese territories, and those who live outside camps have to secure transportation to schools. In light of the economic crisis that has been afflicting Lebanon, parents can no longer bear the expenses due to lifting the subsidy on fuels that has made the situation even worse, especially in cases where more than one member of the family is in school.

Second challenge: shortage in books, scribes and logistics in schools:

This year, UNRWA faces a shortage in books for elementary and secondary levels especially math books, tables and chairs, in addition to shortage in scribes including those who are concerned with students’ files and their grades. This is because about 20 % of them have been laid off and replaced with other people under the cash for work program, noting that an employee who works on a 40-day system and then is changed cannot be familiar with the approved mechanisms for documenting and sending information.

To combat these challenges, the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (witness) demands the following from UNRWA:

·        Provide transportation allowances to minimize the burden on parents’ shoulders.

·        Print books for students as soon as possible to ensure that lessons do not accumulate on them.

·        employ enough number of teachers that corresponds to educational needs.

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) stresses the right of the Palestinian child to education, which is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 in Article 26, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, which stipulates the right to education for every child without discrimination.

Palestinian Association for Human rights (Witness)

Beirut 15/09/2022