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UNRWA in Gaza commences its annual Summer Learning Program; second chance education for refugee children
This week, UNRWA in Gaza started its annual Summer Learning Program (SLP). This program provides children who failed Arabic, Mathematics or both the opportunity to level up and move to the next grade level.
The students who failed Arabic or Math have been informed to attend the SLP. These children will attend special classes and study material in Arabic and Mathematics, prepared by UNRWA’s Education specialists. They will attend school for 18 days starting from 8 June, 2015 from 7:45 to 10:45 am. They then have an opportunity to sit the SLP final exams – for Arabic on 29 June and for Mathematics on 30 June.
Oday Tariq Baker, 12 years old, is a 6th grader at UNRWA New Gaza Preparatory Boys "C" School. Oday says, "I am very happy with the Summer Learning Program as it helps me improve my academic performance and provides me with a great opportunity to succeed and join my fellow students in the next school level."
Twelve year old Dalia Awni Abu Nahla, a 6th grader at UNRWA Beach Preparatory Girls "B" School, says, "I was extremely upset when I failed in Arabic language. Then I registered with the UNRWA Summer Learning Program and I started to enjoy myself. This program gives me the opportunity to succeed and continue learning with my friends."
In this regard, Farid Abu Athra, Chief of UNRWA’s Education Programme in Gaza says, “I am very proud of this programme as it gives the children a second chance to catch up with what they missed. With all the difficult circumstances the children are going through here in the Gaza Strip, I think a second chance to those children is particularly important.”
UNRWA introduced the Summer Learning Program in 2008. This year, 25,600 students who failed in Arabic, Mathematics or both are participating in SLP at UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA operates 252 schools for about 240,000 Palestine refugee students.
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 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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