Gaza students suffer under Israel siege

Related: Education under Occupation

PressTV –  Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:2AM GMT

School this year in the Gaza Strip opens with a severe shortage of space and material due to the continuation of the Israeli blockade of the region, Press TV reports.

Most of Gaza’s government and UN-run schools are operating two shifts every day to deal with the shortage of classrooms.

More than 50 students try to concentrate in each classroom, with three children seated at a desk designed for two.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) uses metal shipping containers as classrooms in some schools to accommodate the large number of students.

“We had this year nearly 220,000 kids in our schools and we never had that number before. So we have been forced to install 60 containers in different schools,” UNRWA Media Advisor Adnan Abu Hasna told Press TV.

Parents worry about the conditions inside the metal shipping containers on the hot days of the year.

“My daughter complains that she cannot concentrate in her classroom. She and her classmates sweat from the heat despite fans, but sometimes the electricity goes off and this container become like a pressure cooker,” said the mother of a student.

UNRWA recently criticized Israel for hindering efforts to build new schools in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel has banned the delivery of construction materials to Gaza since it tightened its siege in June 2007, citing security concerns, except for certain projects run by international NGO’s.

During the 3-week Israeli offensive on Gaza at the turn of 2009, several schools were either totally or partially destroyed.



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