Saturday Fun Days conclude in Balata School Festival

15 June 2011

14 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.

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Background Information

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

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68 million.

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