26 July 2018

State of Palestine: Out-of-school children

Executive summary: The country report on out-of-school children (OOSC) in the State of Palestine is the product of a year-long collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Motivated by their shared commitment to securing the right of every child in Palestine to inclusive and equitable quality education, the out-of-school children country report puts a spotlight on 5-15-year old children excluded from and within education. To this end, the report undertakes three tasks. It first provides detailed analyses of 5-15-year-old children who are both out of school, and who are in school but are at risk of dropping out, using the analytic frameworks developed by the Global Initiative on Out-of- School Children (OOSCI). It then identifies and describes the barriers that contribute to these children’s exclusion from education. Concurrently, it presents brief descriptions of existing policies and efforts towards addressing these barriers and recommends ways to strengthen existing efforts. Finally, the annexes to this report provide an in-depth exploration of three particular groups: children living in the Gaza Strip, 16-17-year-old children, and children living in East Jerusalem. This Executive Summary highlights the main findings from the analyses of children who are out of school or who are currently in school but are at risk of dropping out, the barriers bringing about their exclusion from and within education, and the landscape of pertinent policies. Those barriers to accessing quality education in the State of Palestine are grounded in the context that includes the reality of the ongoing development of Palestine’s education system, Israeli occupation and frequent episodes of armed conflict. Out-of-School Children and the Dimensions of Exclusion from Education The OOSCI has developed an analytic framework that seeks to understand out-of-school children through five dimensions. These five dimensions include two different groups of children: children who are out of school (Dimensions One, Two and Three) and children who are in school but are at risk of dropping out (Dimensions Four and Five). Thus, the term “exclusion” takes on a different meaning for each group. For children who are out of school, the term refers to their exclusion from education. For children who are in school but are at risk of dropping out, the term refers to their possible exclusion within education as a result of non-inclusive teaching practices and discriminatory attitudes in the school environment, among others.  
03 September 2015

Education Under Fire

AMMAN, 3 September 2015– Surging conflict and political upheaval across the Middle East and North Africa are preventing more than 13 million children from going to school, according to a UNICEF report released today. The report, “Education Under Fire,” focuses on the impact of violence on schoolchildren and education systems in nine countries* that have been directly or indirectly impacted by violence. Attacks on schools and education infrastructure – sometimes deliberate – are one key reason why many children do not attend classes. In Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya alone, nearly 9,000 schools are out of use because they have been damaged, destroyed, are being used to shelter displaced civilians or have been taken over by parties to the conflict. Other factors include the fear that drives thousands of teachers to abandon their posts, or keeps parents from sending their children to school because of what might happen to them along the way – or at school itself. In Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, more than 700,000 Syrian refugee children are unable to attend school because the overburdened national education infrastructure cannot cope with the extra student load. “The destructive impact of conflict is being felt by children right across the region,” said Peter Salama, Regional Director for UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa. “It’s not just the physical damage being done to schools, but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered.” The report highlights a range of initiatives – including the use of self-learning and expanded learning spaces – that help children learn even in the most desperate of circumstances. But it says that the funding such work receives is not commensurate with the burgeoning needs, despite the fact that children and parents caught up in conflict overwhelmingly identify education as their number one priority. In particular, the No Lost Generation Initiative, launched by UNICEF and other partners in 2013 to galvanise more international backing for the education and protection needs of children affected by the Syria crisis deserves more support, the report says. In addition, the reports calls on the international community, host governments, policy makers, the private sector and other partners to: Reduce the number of children out of school through the expansion of informal education services especially for vulnerable children Provide more support to national education systems in conflict-hit countries and host communities to expand learning spaces, recruit and train teachers and provide learning materials In countries affected by the Syria crisis, advocate for the recognition and certification of non-formal Education services. *Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, State of Palestine