Gazan Schools Damaged, Education in Danger

After the 2014 siege, the education sector took a huge hit in Gaza. Many of the Gazan schools were heavily damaged, sustaining damage up to $33.5 million. Ziad thabet, an official in Gaza’s education ministry, informed Al Jazeera that 187 government schools were damaged out which 3 of them were damaged to the length that they no longer can be used. The remaining 184 schools are still under some forms of damage and need to be repaired in order for children to study amply. Rebuilding schools will come as a challenge to Gaza as there are restrictions on bringing raw materials, including concrete, as informed by Ziad Thabet. Due to the inability to rebuild as needed, 94 percent of Gaza’s schools have been running on double shifts. Thabet explains “One group of students goes to class in the morning, while another group goes in the afternoon. Gaza would need to build 130 new schools to meet the local demand”.

Nafeza Yousef, school secretary from Shujayea, claimed that the destruction effected the schools badly, leading them to be overstretched and unable to meet the needs of students. She said “We had to give up virtually half of our students and place them in three other nearby schools.”

The war has put education in Gaza into grave danger. Before the siege, the schools taught around 750 students from the 1st grade up to 6th grade. But since 2016, only 430 students can be taught and that too from the 4th grade up to 6th grade. And as a result of this, teachers get transferred due to low admission of students.

One of the victim students is Farah Qanoua. What she saw on the first day of school after the 2014 siege, will never leave her memory. She had watched on the news that her school had been hit by an Israeli Missile. She knew what had happened to her school but even so, when she visited the school on her first day, it went beyond what she had expected. Farah found her school safe before but after the incident, her belief was crushed along with her school. She said “The hateful bombs had showered debris everywhere I moved my eyes that day.” Her best friend Qamar Hararh had been really excited to start school again. They both were very happy to meet each other again but were sad due to the condition of their school and classrooms in it. School walls collapsed, windows were smashed and the ceilings had gaping holes in them. Qamar stated to Al Jazeera “I was waiting for my school because it still can give me that sense that everything is going well and will be all right.”

 

Education is the best thing anyone can achieve because people can steal everything from you but never knowledge. In Gaza, the education seems to be in danger as many schools have been destroyed and the ones that remain are in very bad condition. Children need education because they are the next generation and they are the ones that can make the world a better place to live. But what we need right now is to secure their future, humanity’s future. Therefore we should make sure they receive proper education. Everyone has the right to study, don’t you think?

 

Source: Al Jazeera.