Translated by: Saed Bannoura
After more than four years since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada, different aspects in the Palestinian life were deeply affected by the situation, and the continuous military violations in the occupied territories.
Education, a sector deeply affected by the military acts and raids and closure, tens of school were shelled, some schools used as military camps, and interrogation centers, and above all, more than 600 students were killed, approximately 4000 were shot wounded.
Private schools sector, which depends on fees paid by the students, was deeply affected by the military operation and the effects of closure on the financial situation of the Palestinians.
Families became unable to cover the expenses of their children, school became unable to pay the salaries of the teachers and the daily expenses need in any school to keep it running.
Head of Al-MustaqbalÃ¢â‚¬Â [Future] school in Qalqilia said that before Al-Aqsa Intifada, the number of students studying in private school was relatively high, but today, and as a result of the military operations and closure parents became unable to provide their families with the needed expenses for their children; therefore the families became unable to pay the school fees.
The school revealed that 30-40% of the students left the private school, even after reducing the fees; the school fee costs 300 Jordanian Dinars, and was reduced to 200 JD after the Intifada.
Meanwhile, Zakareyya Jaber, head of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Modern SchoolÃ¢â‚¬Â, in Qalqilia, in the north of the West Bank, said that the school has only 100 students out of 300 students before the Intifada, and added that the current situation, closure and poverty made the parents unable to send their children to private school.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We reduced the fees, but closure deprived students from the surrounding villages from reaching their school, and the high rates of unemployment and sharp increase of poverty forced the families to transfer their children to governmental schools.
Jaber added that the school is not receiving any financial support from any governmental of non-government organization.
Some of the families started sending their children to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“WaqfÃ¢â‚¬Â schools, [religious endowments], which are Islamic schools which belong to the Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs, since they are free schools and provide the students with food supplies and clothes.
The Ministry of Waqf opened in Qalqilia several Waqf schools for students in the grades between 7 and 9.
Yousef Al-Sidda, head of the religious school in Qalqilia. Yousef Al-Sidda said that there are huge numbers of students registering to the school and pother Waqf schools, but the tight closure, siege and the Separation Wall deprived the students from reaching them.
Al-Sidda added that the school could be easily flooded, but the Ministry of Waqf stipulates that news students should have received a minimum grade of 85% in the seventh and tens grade.
With the continuous siege imposed over the Palestinian territories significantly increased the poverty level among the residents, hundreds of thousands of workers became out of work, employees unable to reach their institutions, several companies and factories closed, while the Israeli Authorities also sealed the crossings and borders completely blocking trade and active economy.
Education is the basic right of any child, the military violations and closure and clearly contradicting with the International Law, and the Principles of Human Rights, but the continuous procedures are mainly affecting children, depriving them from their basic right of education.
When the occupation and its procedures decide the future of a child, affect the education he receives and takes away his free choice of school, students Ã¢â‚¬Å“the future generationÃ¢â‚¬Â will lose their fundamental right and choice of education which resembles another clear indication of the effects of occupation on the new generation of Palestine.