International Day of Education 2022
Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.
In Palestine, educational achievement at all levels continues to be affected by the political situation and resulting conflict. While Palestine has one of the highest enrollment rates in the region for students in elementary education, substantial challenges to access education remain, especially for students from vulnerable groups and communities.
COVID-19 has also deeply affected education, for children with no access to digital learning opportunities. This divide is often present in remote and disadvantaged areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Many students lack internet access, devices, and adequate digital literacy. Less than half of households with children between the ages of 10-17 who are currently enrolled in schools have the desktop, laptop, or tablet they need for remote learning.
Prolonged and intermittent school closures have also resulted in learning loss – only 37% of students attended educational classes during school closure and only an average of 64% of the curricula was covered during 2020-2021.
The 11-day escalation of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities in May 2021 aggravated existing vulnerabilities and affected children’s well-being and protection. The damage to 136 schools run by the Palestinian Authority affected 121,092 children, worsening an existing shortage of classrooms in Gaza. Sixty-five percent of schools in Gaza operate on double or triple shifts, shortening the school day, sometimes to only 4 hours.
Message from the Director General of UNESCO:
“In these exceptional times, business as usual is no longer an option. If we are to transform the future, if we are to change course, we must rethink education. This means forging a new social contract for education, as called for by the UNESCO report on the Futures of Education, released last November. We need to repair past injustices and orient the digital transformation around inclusion and equity. And we need education to fully contribute to sustainable development - for instance, by integrating environmental education in all curricula and by training teachers in this field.” - Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Day of Education 2022.
“On this International Day for Education, I invite all stakeholders to reflect on how to strengthen education, including the digital transformation, as a public endeavor for the common good, in and for Palestine.” -Lynn Hastings, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, from a statement on the International Day for Education 2022.
On 24 January, the day will be celebrated through a platform to showcase the most important transformations that have to be nurtured to realize everyone’s fundamental right to education and build a more sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful future. It will generate debate around how to strengthen education as a public endeavor and common good, how to steer the digital transformation, support teachers, safeguard the planet and unlock the potential in every person to contribute to collective well-being and our shared home.
In February, UNESCO Ramallah will organize a webinar under the theme; “TVET and Digital Education”. Students and educators will discuss innovations, digital skills, and transversal competencies to make education more fit for the future and satisfy market needs.