Palestine refugee children participate in UNRWA summer school

13 August 2021
 Palestine refugee students at the UNRWA Al-Amari School in the West Bank, take part in summer school to make up for classes missed due to COVID-19 related closures. © 2021 UNRWA photo by Iyas Abu Rahmah

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) completed its summer school yesterday in all of its 96 schools for UNRWA students in the West Bank for three weeks. The summer school was generously supported by the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration as part of its contribution to the Agency’s 2021 Emergency Appeal for the West Bank and Gaza.

The summer school opened its doors to all students every day except for Friday for four and a half hours per day, and focused on teaching academic subjects such as Arabic, English, and mathematics in addition to cultural and educational activities using available school resources, such as the library, laboratory, sports and art equipment. UNRWA allowed all of its 46,000 students in its schools in the West Bank to enroll in the summer school supervised by UNRWA school principals and teachers.

The objective of the summer school was to compensate for the lost teaching time as a result of school closures during the past school year due to mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Deputy Chief of the UNRWA Education Programme in the West Bank, Mr. Muhammad Salameh, said that the summer school improved the academic achievement of students and made up for the lessons they missed. He added: “The lessons that were cancelled during the 2020-2021 school year were taught during the summer school. We also worked on strengthening the students’ understanding of some of the main subjects such as mathematics, Arabic and English, which facilitated the students’ involvement in the educational process for the next academic year.”

The summer school initiative concludes a multi-faceted initiative of the UNRWA Education programme in the West Bank in response to the pandemic, to ensure learning continuity to Palestine refugees. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the remote learning approach was applied, followed by blended education, which is a mixture of remote and face-to-face learning, which led to the gradual opening of all 96 UNRWA schools in the West Bank, but with strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures. Being the final activity of this summer, the Summer School, with the generous contributions from the United States, aimed to refine the talents of children in various fields, as well as alleviating the psychological burden created by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations, namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. Thousands of Palestine refugees who lost both their homes and livelihood because of the 1948 conflict have remained displaced and in need of significant support for over seventy years. UNRWA helps them achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140