The devastating effect of the Israel-Hamas war on education in Gaza – PBS NewsHour

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William Brangham:

The education system in Gaza was facing serious challenges before the war began. But today, more than 800 lower schools and 17 higher education institutions lay in ruins, having been either partially bombed or entirely destroyed. Making matters worse, Gaza’s population is disproportionately young, and have school age around 65 percent or 24 years old or younger.

David Skinner works for Save the Children where he’s the Senior Education cluster coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory. He joins us from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. David Skinner, thank you so much for joining us today.

On some level, I think many of our viewers will be surprised to learn that there is any education that is able to go on in Gaza, given the ongoing war there, can you just tell us a little bit about what kind of instruction and education children can get today?

David Skinner, Save the Children: I don’t think people should be thinking that is a full scale education, it’s very hesitant, it’s very trivial. But if you imagine that you’re in a shelter in Ramallah, or in Gaza, there is a very immediate desire for education to take place.

And so what we’re seeing in the shelters is organic education activities taking place. So parents are coming together, there are teachers in the shelters and education is happening. It’s not people sitting in rows with a whiteboard in front of them and teachers teaching the times table, or the alphabet, it’s a place for structure and for some kind of escape, if you like, from the immediacy of the issues in front of you.

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