“I’m very happy that we are finally back at our beloved school! I truly miss being in the classroom, with my friends and teachers!” said Lara – sixth grader students at UNRWA Nuzha Girls School expressed gladly this morning.
Today, Palestine refugee students in Jordan returned to school for the first day of the 2021-2022 school year. More than 119,000 children attend the 161 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Jordan. UNRWA schools are opening their doors to students in line with the health and safety regulations of the Government of Jordan.
“This is a moment of celebration!” said the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Ms. Marta Lorenzo. Ms. Lorenzo joined students from the UNRWA Al-Nuzha Girls’ School for their first day of school. “I’m very happy that we are finally seeing our students attend class in person and being able to receive their education face–to–face again. Our amazing education staff have spared no effort to make sure no student is left behind and that learning continues without interruption for our refugee children,” said Ms. Lorenzo.
During the Back-to-School ceremony, Ms. Lorenzo announced the update of 13 boys’ and girls’ schools in Amman New Camp (ANC) to seven single shift schools effective immediately. This update aims to improve the quality of education in UNRWA schools by offering students the use of the entire school premises and the ability to participate in recreational and extra-curricular activities. Single shift schools also offer increased protection to students, as they go to and from school during daylight hours.
“Palestine refugee students, like all their peers around the world have the right to enjoy high standards of education at all times. We will always devote our efforts towards a better educational environment for Palestine refugees. So many of our students rely on UNRWA education and we strive to make this a reality for them,” said Dr. Oroba Labadi, UNRWA Chief of Education Programme.
It is worth mentioning that most of UNRWA schools in Jordan operate on double shifts due to the high student population and the Agency’s limited resources due to continuous funding shortfalls.
Students in Jordan who went back to learning today are part of the over 534,000 Palestine refugee students educated in the 711 UNRWA schools across the Agency’s five fields of operation.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations, namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. Thousands of Palestine refugees who lost both their homes and livelihood because of the 1948 conflict have remained displaced and in need of significant support for over seventy years. UNRWA helps them achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.
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