Textbooks used in UNRWA Schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

06 October 2017

Statement by UNRWA Spokesperson Christopher Gunness

A recent report about the Palestinian Authority textbooks being used in UNRWA schools is inaccurate and misleading. 178 of the books cited are not being used in UNRWA schools; that’s almost 90 per cent of the evidence on which the conclusions of the report are based. These books are not being used in UNRWA schools for a number of reasons:

  1. They were phased out when the Palestinian Authority changed their curriculum and textbooks starting in 2016, though the books relating to the old Palestinian Authority curriculum were found to be free of incitement to terrorism by an independent US State Department review.
  2. They are for the higher grades 11-12; grades which are not taught in UNRWA schools in Gaza and the West Bank. 
  3. They were 'pilot' for the first year of the rollout of the new PA textbooks in the school year 2016-17. New 2017 versions are applicable for the school year 2017-18.

23 of the books reviewed in the report are being used in our schools and we have reviewed them rigorously under our curriculum framework, which aims to ensure that our curriculum is in line with UN values. In the small number of instances where issues of concern were found, we have created enriched complementary materials for use in our classrooms and we will be rolling out training on this to our teachers in the coming months. UNRWA’s condemnation of all forms of racism is a matter of public record.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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