Some half million Gazan students on Sunday started their new academic year, following a two weeks delay after Israel’s devastating 51-day war.
The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced in a statement that some 500,000 students took their places in the classrooms in public schools early Sunday in seven directorates of the ministry, in addition to UNRWA-run schools and tens of thousands enrolled in private institutions.
The statement added that the opening was delayed for two weeks because of damage to some 150 schools in the coastal enclave.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)’s spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said about 9,600 students in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun cannot attend school because Palestinian families, whose homes were destroyed during Israel’s latest war on the Gaza Strip, have come to seek refuge at three Gaza schools and refuse to leave those schools.
The ministry confirmed that Israeli authorities refused to grant permission to Palestinian Minister of Higher Education, Khawla Al-Shakhshir, to start the new school year in the besieged enclave and inspect school and educational facilities damaged by the war .