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Source:
13 March 2009



Gaza Emergency Education Cluster Update
24 Feb– 13 Mar 2009
No. 2
13/03/2009
General Situation

Background
    · As 56% of the Gaza population is under the age of 18, the key issue facing the education system in Gaza is how to meet the needs of a large and growing school age population. About 60% of schools are operating on a double shift basis.
    · The Israeli military operation in Gaza began on the first day of exams for students. As a result, all schools in Gaza were closed; students missed almost one month of classes and could not take their mid-term exams.
    · An inter-agency assessment of the governmental and private education system found that 10 schools (8 government and 2 private) were severely damaged if not totally destroyed; 156 government and 12 private schools were partially damaged; 8 kindergartens were severely damaged, and 54 were partially damaged;
    · A preliminary assessment indicated that over 71,000 people have been displaced, children have lost textbooks, notebooks, uniforms, clothes, and other learning materials which need to be replaced

Situation Update:

Education Cluster Planning and Coordination:
Weekly Gaza Education Cluster meetings have focused on developments in the sub-group meetings and specific strategies to address the psychosocial support needs of children in the classroom before the end of the school year. At its 5 March meeting the Jerusalem/Ramallah Cluster discussed a specific ToR for its support role vis-à-vis the Gaza including the possible integration of the cluster into the existing –development-oriented- Education Sector Working Group (ESWG)

Education and Psychosocial Support Sub-group Established
The objectives of the sub group for psychosocial support and education are (1) to discuss the nature of interventions undertaken by the institutions and universities in the area of psychosocial support in schools and universities; (2) to ensure coordination between UN, NGOs and INGOs and UNRWA in joint planning and collaboration; and (3) to identify future actions by members of the group with regard to the identification of needs and provision of psychosocial support for teachers and students. Among the priority activities
for the group, the following are to be noted:

Information Management

The Gaza Response Activity Database (GRAD) is online. Agencies that have not yet received a username and password to access the system should contact Lynnette Larsen at UNICEF (LyLarsen@unicef.org). Group and individual training on use of the system is available.

The Education Cluster page is up on the OCHA website. Please visit the page at http://www.ochaopt.org/cluster/clusters.php?domain=11

Funding:
The Palestinian Authority Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza (2009-2010) estimates that USD $ 55.35 1 million are needed for restoration of the education sector

Advocacy messages:

Meeting Schedule:
Gaza - Every Tuesday 11 am at UNICEF.
Ramallah/Jerusalem - will meet every two weeks


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