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
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