WORLD

Educational lessons in the midst of destruction and under bombardment.. What about education in Gaza?

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The Israeli war on Gaza deprives about 625,000 male and female students of education in the Gaza Strip. According to United Nations estimates, about 90% of school buildings have been completely or partially destroyed in the Gaza Strip since October 7.

Irada Ismail, the grandmother of Atef, a six-year-old child who lives in a tent with his family in Deir al-Balah in the middle of the Gaza Strip, where he sleeps clinging to his grandmother and is afraid to walk alone, explains: “The thing we miss most is the future of our children and their education. We can rebuild houses and walls, and we can replace the money.” We lost, but how will I compensate for his education?”

Atef’s house was bombed, his teachers were killed, and his school in Nuseirat was turned into a shelter for displaced people. Since then, Atef has only drawn planes, missiles and tents, according to his grandmother.

Children in Gaza are considered the most affected by the ongoing Israeli war. 19,000 children have lost their parents since October 7, and a third of the children suffer from acute malnutrition, in addition to the effects of psychological warfare on children.

Jesus Miguel Pérez Cazorla, a mental health expert at the International Committee of the Red Cross, says that lack of education has profound psychological effects on children, including halting normal aspects of life, making children more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

Challenges and difficulties of finding a room for teaching

Volunteer groups try to organize recreational activities, including games, drawing, drama, and arts, in an attempt to integrate children into “normal” activities.

One of the most difficult challenges facing the group of volunteers is finding a place or room. It took about two months to search for a place, and the group was forced to hold activities in the open air or in partially destroyed places.

Humanitarian organizations say getting simple supplies such as soccer balls and stationery into Gaza can take months.

UNICEF plans to set up at least 50 tents for about 6,000 children in pre-school through 12th grade with play-based and literacy activities in Rafah.

Sabreen Al-Khatib, a mother who was displaced from Gaza City to Deir Al-Balah, says that the situation of children is very difficult, especially if they lose their families and friends. She says: “Now the child thinks about how he will die instead of school.”

Families hope to resume school by next September, but rebuilding schools and clearing them of explosive mines may take years, according to United Nations experts.

Additional sources • dad