Children return to school in Gaza city after 2012 ceasefire with Israel
Ramallah – Nihad Al Taweel
Less than half of Palestinian schools are connected to the sewage system and just half provide facilities for disabled pupils, according to an official report
The figures, from the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education, also show that schools in the West Bank and Gaza have a low failure rate, and an even balance between male and female students.
Overall, the majority of the Palestinian territories’ 1.14 million students attend state schools, although almost half of pupils in the Gaza strip are in schools run by the United Nationals Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
The reported showed that just 47 percent of Palestinian schools are connected to the sewage system, with an average of one toilet to every 64 students and one drinking tap between every 42.
The number of students with disabilities attending schools in both the West Bank and Gaza was recorded at 9500, although it is not clear what proportion of the total number of children with disabilities this represents.
Despite new state school buildings designed to be accessible to students with disabilities, the report said more schools needed to take steps to enable disabled children to attend.
Only 55 percent of schools have accessible toilets for disabled pupils – 60 percent of state schools, 55 percent of UNRWA schools and 22 percent of private schools.
In terms of providing transport to disabled pupils, state schools again had the best results, with 49 percent offering transport, compared to 41 percent of UNRWA schools and 20 percent of private schools.
Just over half of school students in the West Bank and Gaza are female, the figures showed, with the proportion rising to 55 percent in high schools.
Fifty-nine percent of teachers in both territories are women, the report said.
The figures show the failure rate for Palestinian students was just 1 percent, the same as the overall dropout rate.