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The Palestinian school year starts as 1.2 million students start classes today

Ministry of Education: Education is important and vaccination of teachers is mandatory.

Jerusalem24 – Today, more than 1.2 million students are heading to 3,200 schools and 1,500 kindergartens, marking the start of the new school year in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to the full face-to-face education model that prevailed before the Corona pandemic.

Education Minister Marwan Awartani stated, during a joint press conference with Health Minister Mai Kaila, and government spokesperson Ibrahim Melhem, held at the ministry’s headquarters in Ramallah to talk about preparations for the start of the school year. The return to study will be fully present within health and preventive requirements. It was agreed upon by the Epidemiological Committee and the competent authorities, explaining, in turn, that all preparations had been completed, as there was continuous work to prepare the infrastructure and school facilities, thus more than 33 new schools were built, while dozens of schools were maintained and rehabilitated in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Pointing out that the vaccination process has not been completed, Awartani stated, “school teachers and school staff will not be able to enter schools unless they get vaccinated, so vaccinating cadres is a condition for their entry to schools.” He added, “a teacher will not be able to carry out his educational tasks in the school, unless they hold a certificate of vaccination, and if they do not obtain it with premeditation, they will be rejected. In all our steps, there is coordination with the General Union of Teachers in this regard.”

He continued, “we gained extensive experience during the last period, with regard to education in the context of emergencies, and this was a success story, and we made a great effort with parents and the local community, to realize the students’ right to education.”

Reviewing some aspects related to e-learning, he made mention that there are more than 3.5 million registered classes, and 13 million visits to (E school) websites.

He continued, “the return to schools takes place against the background of a rich experience with the Corona virus, that was hit and miss in some areas.” He added, “we have gained more knowledge, and this time if we have to go to hybrid-learning, the lessons will be better, and all the elements of the system related to it will be higher in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.”

He also indicated that the ministry has prepared an ambitious plan to deal with the issue of educational loss in a cumulative manner, so the school year will be flexible, explaining that students from first to fourth grades, as well as eleventh and twelfth  will be given exceptional attention in the field of face-to-face education within the ministry’s plan.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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