Saturday Fun Days conclude in Balata School Festival

15 June 2011

West Bank

UNRWA schools in the northern West Bank organised a festival in Balata Basic School for Girls today to celebrate the achievements of the Saturday days for learning scheme, part of the UNRWA’s efforts to improve educational standards.

Muhanned Beidas, UNRWA’s chief of education in the West Bank, highlighted the achievements reached so far, almost two years after the launch of the education recovery plan: “Extracurricular activities and remedial education have enhanced greatly the learning process among children, who all want to join in the fun and come to school to learn and play.”

During the festival, children danced, sang, and presented their handmade products in a special exhibition. The exhibition included various schools from the northern areas.

The education programme is one of the largest UNRWA programmes in the West Bank, targeting 97 schools and almost 56,000 students. More than 300 teachers were hired, in addition to the regular teaching force, to ensure proper implementation of this plan.

Background Information

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, are funded through separate funding portals. 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724