UNRWA students in Gaza get interactive with support from South Korea

12 July 2012

12 July 2012
Gaza

Today, the Republic of Korea’s government, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) handed over nearly 600 computers to Palestine refugee students in the Gaza Strip through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The computers will provide nearly 30,000 students in Gaza with computer training and online education.

“I have no doubt that this project will contribute to improving the education system for students, and I hope that our assistance with IT equipment will produce more qualified young people who are connected to the outside world”, said Mr. Sung Jun Yeo, the Head Representative of the Republic of Korea in Palestine, in his speech to a ceremony held at UNRWA’s Rimal Preparatory Girls’ School in Gaza City.

The deputy director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, Scott Anderson, thanked the people and Government of the Republic of Korea: “It is a fitting gift from one of the world’s most technologically-advanced nations, and as we move forward to build on this donation, I hope that we can continue to deepen and develop our relationship with South Korea, as well as deliver quality education to the next generation in Gaza.”

The donation follows an agreement in December 2011 between UNRWA and the Republic of Korea, under which the Government of Korea, through KOICA, donated USD 400,000 to UNRWA to upgrade the overall information technology of schools in Gaza with new computers.

Around 220,000 children in Grades 1 through 9 are currently taught in 243 UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip. The majority of them suffer from overcrowding and are “double shifted”, where one school building serves two completely different sets of teachers and students.

In order to cope, UNRWA has introduced an interactive learning programme designed by its teachers to meet special educational needs and provide alternative ways for students to learn. The programme uses computer games to teach mathematics and Arabic, with an average of two lessons per day. Academic performance has improved among students, as well as attitudes towards learning. With support from the Republic of Korea, many schools that lacked appropriate IT equipment will be fully supplied with computers, giving all their students the chance to be access interactive education opportunities.

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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, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org

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$ 56 million.

For more information, please contact:

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