Students of Asker Camp Dream of Free and Secure Education The Big Dream … Defending Education, Time to Act

Dozens of female students from the UNRWA schools in Nablus called for safe, free evolved and qualitative education focusing on critical thinking and many other traits and hopes of the students for the education in Palestine when it becomes 2030. The Palestinian Coalition have implemented these activities during the Big Dream event in partnership with the education program for the UNRWA along with many camp institutions in Nablus. The activities took place at the German Hall in Askar Camp near Nablus. The event is implemented as one of the Global Action Week for Education 2017 events which aims at achieving accountability and guarantee the fulfilling of the fourth sustainable development objective and effective participation for citizens.  The event shared the slogan “Defending Education, Time to Act”

Many representatives of local societies in Nablus and Askar Camp, Parents Council of the female students of Girls of Askar School (A) and other members of the Palestinian Collation have participated in this event.

Mr. Tayseer Nasrallah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jaffa Cultural Center, delivered  a speech on behalf of the Palestinian Education Coalition. He began by saluting the prisoners and supporting the Palestinian Education Coalition for all the demands of Palestinian prisoners, especially their right to complete their secondary and higher education. He said that the slogan of the Global Campaign for Education in Palestine is to promote defending  education and supporting the rights of prisoners of dignity, education and health. In addition. He called for an end to UNRWA budget cuts and reconsidering the policy adopted by the United Nations and the international community for the protection of Palestinian refugees, who number over 7 million refugees. Thus, a true threat is jeopardizing the right of Palestinian refugee children to be educated.

Nasrallah emphasized the need to formulate governmental mechanisms to stress on  the private sector to carry the can of  its social responsibilities in supporting and developing public education, ensuring credible and transparent mechanisms for civil society participation in monitoring and accountability on the education agenda. Of course, he stressed on the national participation in defining a broad and comprehensive concept of quality education too.

There is a need to respect the Palestinian national curricula and not to allow any attempts that might affect the curriculum and its content, he added. He appreciated  the "Girls of Asker" School (A), represented by the Director Sreen Dwikat, and the school staff for their cooperation in carrying out this event.

Muhannad Baidas, head of the educational program at UNRWA, spoke of the need to pay attention to the quality and importance of education and the educational process for Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian camps. “We are proud of UNRWA for our achievements in educating the children of Palestinian refugees and protecting them from ignorance over many years. One of the most recent achievements was the abolishing the two shifts in UNRWA schools, as all the schools in the West Bank camps are having their school days only in the morning shift (not a morning and an evening shifts as before),” Baidas added to his speech.

He also talked about his experience as head of the educational program at UNRWA during the past years, recalling several stages of his career. He explained that he will continue the process of giving and serving the educational process even after completing his term as head of the Agency's educational program.

He called on all those working in education, especially UNRWA, to be more generous because students and the Palestinian people deserve every effort.

Mr. Hosny Odeh, head of the Askar camp services committee, thanked all those who played a role in the establishment of the Big Dream event. He called for the intervention of civil society institutions in monitoring and protecting education. He also added that they are planning to form a committee for retired teachers who served education for many years.  Moreover, he emphasized that anyone who tries to sabotage education will take responsibility, especially in UNRWA schools, and warned of internal migration from these schools.

Hassan Ramadan, Director of Educational District at UNRWA in the northern West Bank, said by the end of the event that this event comes within the context of social partnership, which is considered an essential element in the development and evaluation of educational performance. He praised the speeches delivered and hoped that the activities of the Global Campaign of Education are the way to a better community-based approach for education.

The girls of the Askar Al-Awwal camp school presented a variety of artistic presentations, most of which focused on the right of education and the rights of Palestinian children. By the end of this day, a group of students launched a group of balloons in which they have written what their dreams in education are hoping that one day that they will reach the stars.

The organizers of the event limited the guests' hospitality to water and salt as solidarity with hunger strikers in the prisons.

                                                                                           

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