As part of the continuing efforts to support the education sector in Gaza, through support received from the Qatar Development Fund, Fakhoora (A programme of Education Above All Foundation), and UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, celebrated the completion of rehabilitation works for 11 educational facilities across the Gaza Strip.
This support assisted the completion of the first rehabilitation package which includes three private schools, five training centres, and three universities.
It is estimated that approximately 10,000 people, 2,357 of whom are female students will benefit from access to the renewed facilities. Reconstruction work varied from the rehabilitation of classrooms, replacement of damaged structures and sheds, to tiling, painting, and installation of solar cells.
The activities are part of a USD 21 million Right to Education Programme. The programme aims to reconstruct and rehabilitate educational facilities that were damaged and destroyed during the 2014 hostilities on Gaza, with funds from Qatar Development Fund to Education Above All’s Al Fakhoora programme. Through the programme, over 600,000 Palestinian children and youth will regain equitable access to quality education in an inclusive and child-friendly learning environment.
Shadi Saleh, Representative of Al Fakhoora in Gaza, explained the need of this intervention especially after the 2014 hostilities: “Through the reconstruction of schools and universities, Al Fakhoora continues to support education in Gaza. New design approaches are adopted to provide better educational environments and to increase the overall community resiliency in such conflict area”.
Basil Nasser, Head of UNDP Gaza office expressed his appreciation to Qatar Development Fund and EAA’s Al Fakhoora Programme for their generous contribution. “UNDP puts great emphasis on the development of human resources. The projects completed so far will empower Gaza students and youth with quality education and skills to shape the future they want.”
As part of Al Fakhoora’s and UNDP’s response to the current deficit of classrooms in Gaza, the Right to Education Programme will provide more than 200 newly reconstructed classrooms. The programme will support the rebuilding of four schools that were completely destroyed during the 51-day aggression on Gaza. Rehabilitation and reconstruction works for 19 damaged primary and secondary schools, 10 universities and five training centres are also underway.
The programme is expected to provide many employment opportunities, in addition to capacity development in the areas of mental health and e-work, and the necessary skills for students and youth in the areas of mentoring, dialogue and service learning, to enable them to effectively contribute to their community.
The education sector in Gaza has long been characterised by overcrowding and unsafe conditions. According to statistics, more than 200 additional schools are needed, and another 190 schools would be needed by 2020 in order to meet the annual increase in the number of students in Gaza.