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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
13 May 1983



United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
Executive Board

Hundred-and-sixteenth Session
116 EX/16
PARIS, 13 May 1983
Original: French




Item 5.1.5 of the provisional agenda


IMPLEMENTATION OF 21 C/RESOLUTION 14.1
CONCERNING EDUCATIONAL AHD CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES: REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL


SUMMARY

In accordance with decision 5.1.2 adopted by the Executive Board at its 114th session, the Director-General is submitting to the Executive Board a report on the measures he has taken to give effect to that decision in pursuance of 21 C/Resolution 14.l concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories.


INTRODUCTION

1. In accordance with 1l4 EX/Decision 5.1.2, the Director-General is submitting to the Executive Board this report on the measures he has taken to implement that decision, and on certain events affecting the situation of educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories, which have been brought to his notice since the 114th session of the Executive Board. The report also contains a section on the mission sent by the Director-General to the occupied Arab territories from 21 March to 6 April 1982, and the follow-up action he has taken.

DECISION ADOPTED BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD AT ITS 114th SESSION

2. At its 114th session, the Executive Board considered the report of the Director-General entitled 'Implementation of 21 C/Resolution 14.1 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories' (document 114 EX/13 and Add.1 and 2) submitted to it in pursuance of resolution 14.1 adopted by the General Conference at its twenty-first session. The Executive Board adopted 114 EX/Decision 5.1.2 in which it:
'Invites the Director-General to continue his action on behalf of the educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories, in particular by providing technical and financial assistance to the universities and scientific and technological institutes, in accordance with such procedures as he may judge necessary,
    'Invites the Director-General to undertake any action necessary to the proper functioning of the educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem and the Golan, to continue bis efforts to enable the mission designated by him to fulfil its mandate without any restriction, and to communicate to the Executive Board any information and suggestions which would enable it to take, at its 116th session, such measures as it deems necessary'.
3. Under cover of a letter dated 22 September 1982 the text of this decision was transmitted by the Secretariat to the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco, to be forwarded to her Government.


I. UNIVERSITY INSTITUTIONS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES

4. On 8 July 1982, Dr. Hanna Nasir, President-in-exile of the University of Bir-Zeit, sent a telegram to the Director-General to inform bin that the University of Bir-Zeit had just been closed for a period of three months by order of the Israeli military authorities the third such closure in that academic year (1981-1982).

Regarding the circumstances of the closure, be stated that some students and other members of the West Bank community 'did protest against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon', but pointed out that the protest was of a peaceful nature and was not held on the university campus.

Dr. Nasir also pointed out that the students were in danger of wasting a whole academic year as a result of the repeated closures. He requested the Director-General to make representations with a view to having the University reopened.

5. On 13 July 1932, the Director-General sent a telegram to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, saying that he had just been informed of the closure of the University of Bir-Zeit for a period of three months by order of the Israeli military authorities, given on 8 July 1982. The telegram further stated that this third closure, in one academic year, of the largest higher edu-cation institution on the West Bank, coming after two other closures of two months apiece, meant that the University's students were in danger of wasting a whole year of study.

The Director-General referred to his telegram of 11 November 1981, in which he had said that at the meetings of the General Conference of Unesco and of its Executive Board, the international community had repeatedly expressed its concern that the populations of the occupied Arab territories should, like all other peoples, be provided with an education consistent with their aspirations and their cultural identity, and he once again requested the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs to intercede personally to secure the reopening of the Uni-versity as soon as possible. A copy of the telegram was conveyed to the Perman-ent Delegate of Israel to Unesco.

6. Referring to the telegram sent by the Director-General to the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs on 13 July 1982, the acting Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco sent a letter to the Director-General on 10 August in which he stated that 'As a part of a wave of disturbances in Judea and Samaria. influenced by recent events in the area, students of Bir-Zeit University, on 6 July, erected road-blocks on the roads leading to the University and later prevented the dismantling of the road-blocks by throwing stones and bottles' and that 'Afterwards, the students locked themselves into the campus and continued the rioting and disorder'.

The next day, he wrote, 'disturbances continued in Ramallah and in a village close to Bir-Zeit. Following the events,, on 8 July, the Military Commander of Judea and Samaria issued an order declaring the University closed for three months'.

According to the letter from the acting Permanent Delegate of Israel, in May 1979ยป the Vice-President of the University 'undertook to ensure that the academic functioning of the institution would continue unhampered by hostile political activity both in and around the campus', but 'this undertaking was not honoured and the Israeli authorities were obliged to fulfil their responsibilities according to international law and to take measures necessary to restore and maintain public order and safety'.

The acting Permanent Delegate stated that the closure of Bir-Zeit University 'is in no way intended to affect the academic aspirations and cultural identity of the students'. He also stated that Bir-Zeit University 'enjoys complete academic freedom. There is no interference in its programme of studies and no administrative restrictions are imposed on the running of its day-to-day affairs'.

7. On 15 September 1982, the Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities sent a letter to the Director-General concerning the closure of Bir-Zeit University by the Israeli authorities for a period of three months as from 8 July 1982.

The letter stated that the Association of Arab Universities 'strongly condemn the continuous uncivilized Israeli acts against Arab educational institutions' and pointed out that it was the seventh time that Bir-Zeit University had been closed since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967.

He requested the Director-General to take steps to secure the reopening of the University and 'to stop deplorable acts of aggression against Arab universities and students body in occupied territories'.

8. On 1 October 1982, the Director-General sent a second telegram to the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs, informing bin that the Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities had drawn his attention to the closure of Bir-Zeit University since 8 July 1982 by order of the Israeli military authorities. The Director-General reminded bin that he had requested him, in his cable dated 13 July 1982, to intercede personally to enable the University to be reopened; he reiterated that request in the hope of a positive response.

9. On 12 October 1982, referring to the Director-General's telegram dated 1 October 1982, the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco sent a letter to the Director-General to inform him that Bir-Zeit University had been authorized to open again as from 8 October 1982. She added that, for technical reasons a the University authorities had decided to postpone that date to 15 October 1982.

10. Under cover of a letter dated 16 September 1982, the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization to Unesco transmitted to the Director-General a telegram dated 13 September 1982 from Dr. Hanna Nasir, President-in-exile of Bir-Zeit University. In the telegram, Dr. Nasir referred to 'the very serious problems facing the universities in the occupied territories now as a result of difficulties concerning the issuance of work permits for foreign faculty'. He pointed cut that the Israeli military authorities bad asked foreign teachers to sign a document 'declaring their commitment "against indulging in any act or offering assistance to the organization called PLO or any other terrorist organization . . . such acts being direct or indirect"'.

He further stated that the foreign teachers regarded this document 'as a political statement' and the new procedure for issuing work permits 'as an attempt by the military authorities to coerce them into signing a political statement'.

Dr. Nasir recalled that the PLO is accepted internationally as a political organization with observer or participant status in international forums. He said that the terns employed in the Israeli document referred to the PLO as a 'terrorist' organization and reflected 'an exclusive Israeli interpretation of the PLO', and that 'the foreign nationals should not be coerced to accept that interpretation'.

Dr. Hanna Nasir said that following the refusal by twenty-five foreign teachers at Al Najah University and three others at Bethlehem University to sign this document, they were requested to leave the country. He added that similar measures were expected to be taken against some fifty foreign teachers in the other establishments of higher education.

Stating that 'coercion into signing a political statement, plus the actual expulsion of those who refuse to sign is one of the gravest escalations of harassment of the military authorities', Dr. Hanna Nasir expressed the wish that the Director-General night make special endeavours to have this document can-celled and secure the return of the foreign teachers who had been expelled, failing which, he added, the functioning of the educational institutions in the occupied territories would be paralysed during the coming academic year. Dr. Hanna Nasir's telegram also contained an English translation of the document in question issued by the Israeli military authorities.

11. In his letter of 16 September 1982 to the Director-General, the Permanent Observer of the PLO to Unesco informed the Director-General of the expulsion by the Israeli military authorities of three teachers from Al Najah University in Nablus.

He added that a number of other teachers from Al Najah, Bir-Zeit and Bethlehem Universities were threatened with expulsion if they refused to sign the Israeli document.

The Permanent Observer of the PLO stated that 'in pursuance of Military Order No. 854, the Israeli "education officer" warned the universities of the occupied Arab territories not to admit any Palestinian students from East Jerusalem, Galilee, the Triangle [Name given to a zone in the north-east of Israel, south of the Sea of Galilee], and the Negev without obtaining special permission from the Israeli "education officer"'.

He requested the Director-General to take urgent measures.

12. On 7 October 1982, the Permanent Observer of the PLO to Unesco, referring to his previous letter of 16 September 1982, sent the Director-General a letter informing him of the expulsion of fourteen teachers from Al Najah University in Nablus - about which the Permanent Observer himself had just been informed in a telegram from Dr. Hanna Nasir.

He enclosed a copy of this telegram, informing the Director-General that 'considering the gravity of the situation'. Dr. Hanna Nasir hoped that 'immediate action' would be taken to 'put an end to this new violation'.

13. On 15 October 1982, the Director-General sent a telegram to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel to the effect that according to information received by the Secretariat of Unesco, new procedures were being applied for the issue of work permits to foreign teachers in universities in the occupied Arab territories, and that these permits were being issued only if an undertaking was signed concerning certain organizations, a procedure which seemed incompatible with freedom of thought, conscience, opinion and expression. The Director-General also stated that, according to the information he had received, refusal to sign such an undertaking was alleged to have led to the withholding of work permits and expulsion from the country and that by virtue of these measures twenty-five foreign teachers from Al Najah University and three from Bethlehem University had been asked to leave.

The Director-General added that according to more recent information, fourteen teachers from Al Najah University were said to have already been expelled. He drew attention to the fact that there was no provision in international law on the occupation of foreign territories which authorized the application of measures restricting fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of thought, conscience, opinion and expression, and that the action taken could disrupt or even paralyse the functioning of the universities concerned and could be considered a violation of the right to education. The Director-General concluded with a request 'to investigate the information received by the Unesco Secretariat and to take the necessary steps to ensure the cancellation of all restrictive measures of a nature to impede the normal functioning of the universities in the occupied Arab territories'.


A copy of this telegram was sent to the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco.

14. On 16 October 1982, the Director-General sent a telex to Dr. Hanna Nasir in reply to his telegrams dated 13 September and 7 October 1982 which had been transmitted to the Director-General by the Permanent Observer of the PLO to Unesco. In this telex, the Director-General informed Dr. Hanna Nasir of the contents of the telegram sent the same day by the Director-General to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel.

A copy of this telex was sent to the Permanent Observer of the PLO to Unesco.

15. On 19 October 1982, the Secretary-General of the World Federation of Teachers' Unions sent a letter to the Director-General to inform him that "a fourteenth teacher from Al Najab University in Nablus on the occupied West Bank, Dr. Mahmud Mustafa, was dismissed by the occupying military authorities . . . because he refused to sign an undertaking not to support the Palestine Liberation Organization. Several students were also expelled from the University for the same reason'.

In his view, these measures constituted 'fresh violations of trade union rights and fundamental freedoms by the occupying Israeli authorities in the occupied Arab territories', and he accordingly requested the Director-General 'to demand that the occupying authorities put an end to their regression and to request the readmission of the teachers and students concerned'.

16. On 20 October 1982, Dr. Hanna Nasir sent a telegram to the Director-General, thanking him for bis telegram of 16 October 1982 and expressing his gratitude for the Director-General's efforts to ensure the normal functioning of the establishments of higher education in the occupied Arab territories and to guarantee the necessary academic freedom. Dr. Nassir also informed the Director-General that the occupying authorities had suspended implementation of Military Order No. 854 for a period of one year. He said that this was a positive step but that it was not sufficient because of its provisional nature. What was sought was total annulment, in conformity with Unesco resolutions and decisions.

In addition, Dr. Hanna Nasir pointed out that the occupying authorities had made a slight, but insufficient alteration to the declaration to be signed by foreign teachers by deleting the word 'terrorist' from its text. Dr. Nasir said that, even in its modified form, the declaration was still unacceptable to the teachers and continued to be regarded by them as 'a political blackmail' and 'an attempt by the Israelis to infringe on their academic freedom'. The teachers, added Dr. Nasir, saw absolutely no reason why they should sign any document whatsoever that might be used against them by the occupying authorities.

Dr. Hanna Nasir informed the Director-General that that situation had led to the expulsion of fifteen teachers from Al Rajah University and that the expulsion of the President of that University was expected the same day, i.e. 20 October 1982. He stated that teachers in the other institutions would have to face similar measures on the part of the occupying authorities when their residence permits expired a few weeks later.


Because of the gravity of the situation, Dr. Hanna Nasir hoped that urgent appropriate action would be taken to halt the expulsion of foreign teachers who had refused to sign the 'declaration', and to secure total annulment of the declaration.

17. On 6 November 1982 referring to the letters dated 16 September and 7 October from the Permanent Observer of the PLO to Unesco concerning the new formalities required of foreign university teachers in the West Bank by the Israeli occupying authorities, the Director-General sent the Permanent Observer a letter to inform him that the Director-General had cabled the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs, requesting him to take steps to have these measures annulled.

The Director-General also referred to Dr. Hanna Nasir's telegrams dated 13 September and 7 October 1982, which had been transmitted by the Permanent Observer of the PLO, and enclosed a copy of the telex sent to Dr. Hanna Nasir to inform him of the Director-General's action.

18. On 8 November 1982, the Director-General sent a telegram to the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs. Referring to the telegram he had sent to the Minister on 15 October 1982, the Director-General said that he had been informed that the requirement to sign a commitment continued to be applied as a pre-condition for the issue of work permits to foreign teachers in West Bank universities.

The Director-General added that that requirement was considered en encroachment on academic freedom and pressed the Minister to take urgent steps to have any restrictive measures annulled.

A copy of this telegram was transmitted to the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco.
19. On 25 November 1982, the Director-General sent a letter to the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco, in which be referred to the letter dated 19 October 1982 from the Secretary-General of the World Federation of Teachers' Unions concerning the dismissal and expulsion, by the Israeli military authorities, of teachers and students from Al Najab University in Nablus who had refused 'to sign the undertaking not to support the Palestine Liberation Organization'.

The Director-General informed her that he would be referring to that letter in his report to the Executive Board at its 116th session, and requested the Permanent Delegate of Israel to convey to him any comments her Government might wish to make on the matter.
20. On 29 November 1982, at the fourth extraordinary session of the General Conference, referring to the undertaking that the Israeli authorities required of foreign teachers in the occupied Arab territories as a pre-condition for the issue of work permits, the delegation of Israel stated: 'A separate declaration which foreign lecturers were asked to sign to the same effect, has been withdrawn because it caused some consternation among members of the academia'.

21. On 2 December 1982, the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco sent a letter to the Director-General in which she referred to the telegrams sent by the Director-General on 15 October and 6 November 1982 to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, and to the letter the Director-General had sent her on 25 November 1982.

She informed the Director-General that 'the separate declaration that foreign lecturers were required to sign has been withdrawn by my authorities', and that a new procedure had been instituted.

The Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco specified that, in accordance with the new procedure, 'any alien wishing to obtain a permit for work in these areas, including lecturers, must fill in a form which comprises in addition to the necessary personal data, a number of provisions', and that that procedure 'is in conformity with prevailing requirements in democratic countries and is intended to bring to the attention of the applicant his duty to observe, during his period of work in the area, the laws and regulations prevailing there'.

Furthermore, she said that Military Order No. 854 had never been enforced and was now suspended.

22. In a letter to the Director-General dated 2 December 1982, Dr. Hanna Nasir, recalling that Israel had announced an amendment to the terns of work permits for teachers, pointed out that the amendment affected only the form and could lead to the same objections as the original version, for 'inherent in the request is a political statement concerning a specific organization, rather than matters related to law and order'.

He said that the teachers in West Bank universities were refusing to sign the new version, which they continued to regard as 'a political blackmail', and that some 100 foreign teachers were threatened with expulsion or were prevented from teaching. He drew attention to the fact that twenty-six teachers had already been expelled following their refusal to sign the first declaration.

Dr. Nasir said that the political statement, namely the reference to the PLO, should be removed, and that reference should only be made to matters concerning law and order. The expelled teachers would thus be able to return to their universities and the others would no longer be threatened with expulsion or prevented from teaching. He stressed that deleting the reference to the PLO on no account meant requesting support for the PLO, but merely removed the political implications of the document.

Dr. Nasir requested the Director-General to take steps to ensure the normal functioning of the universities.

Three documents were attached to this letter viz. the first version of the undertaking required in order to obtain a work permit, dating from the beginning of September 1982, the second version dating from the end of September, from which the word 'terrorist' and the phrase 'such acts being of a direct or indirect nature' bad been deleted, and lastly the third and final version dating from the end of November 1982.

23. On 19 January 1983, the Director-General sent a letter to the Permanent Delegate of Israel in which he referred to her letter of 2 December 1982 informing him of the suspension of Military Order No. 854. Noting with satisfaction the effort made by the Government of Israel 'towards ensuring greater respect for the right to education and academic freedom', the Director-General nevertheless drew the Permanent Delegate's attention to the fact that the General Conference had expressed the wish for the Order to be repealed. In addition, he noted with interest, that a decision had reportedly been taken to alter the provisions governing the issue of work permits to foreign teachers on the West Bank, and requested details regarding the procedure applied so that, among other things, he could provide the Executive Board with the necessary information.

24. On 27 January 1983, the Director-General sent a letter to Dr. Hanna Nasir informing him that he had considered very carefully Dr. Nasir's letter of 2 December 1982 and that he had received a letter from the Permanent Delegate of Israel informing him of the cancellation of the declaration to be signed by foreign teachers and advising him of the introduction of a new procedure for obtaining work permits by foreign teachers. The Director-General also informed him that he had details of the new procedure. He expressed the hope that a way would be found to enable foreign teachers in the West Bank universities to continue to exercise their profession normally. Lastly, the Director-General told Dr. Hanna Nasir that the Permanent Delegate of Israel had informed him of the suspension of Military Order No. 854.

25. In a letter dated 14 February 1983, the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco confirmed to the Director-General that Military Order No. 854 had been suspended and was not being enforced.

In addition, she informed him of 'a substantial increase in the number of institutions of higher education in Judea, Samaria and the region of Gaza: four universities - Bir-Zeit, Bethlehem, El-Najah and the Sharia University in Hebron, and seven colleges: the Polytechnical of Hebron, the Science College in Abu-Dis, the college for paramedical studies in Ramalla and the theological colleges in Abu-Dis, Kalkilia and in Gaza. All in all there are eleven institutions of higher learning serving a population of about 1,250,000. This does not include teachers' and agricultural colleges'.

With regard to the work permits, the Permanent Delegate of Israel pointed out that, as in many other countries, 'all foreign workers in the administered territories, including lecturers, are in need of such a permit', and stated that 'some lecturers have in the peat abused the free access accorded to them by the Israeli authorities by participating in illegal subversive activities, sometimes being instrumental in causing riots and violence which have cost human lives'. She said that 'The abstention from such illegal activities is one of the prerogatives specified in the application for a working permit submitted by any foreign worker in the administered territories' and that 'It is much narrower in scope than the conditions listed in the application forms for an entry visa in many enlightened countries'.

II. UNRWA/UNESCO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES

26. The reports submitted to the Secretariat by the Director of the UNRWA/Unesco Department of Education through the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, and received between the end of the 114th session of the Executive Board and the date on which this document was drafted, reveal a number of events which have affected the functioning of the UNRWA/Unesco educational institutions in the occupied Arab territories.

27. There reports showed that in the Gaza Strip, the date on which schools were due to open had had to be put back from 4 April to 19 April 1982. This was initially as a result of demonstrations and then because of the curfew decided on by the Israeli military authorities for the refugee camps following the intensification of demonstrations on 11 April 1982 after the incident in the old city of Jerusalem in which an Israeli soldier had opened fire on Muslims at prayer. Three girls were injured on 11 May 1982 in front of Khan Yunis secondary school in the course of confrontations between pupils and Israeli soldiers, and one of then died of her injuries shortly afterwards, causing many pupils to stay away from school in the Gaza Strip on 5 May 1982. The functioning of the schools was also interrupted for several days in September 1982 following the news of the Sabra and Chatila massacres. It was also disrupted on 6 February 1983 by demonstrations in the Jabalia Camp following the explosion of a car bomb in Beirut, which had killed several people.

28. On the West Bank, following the demonstrations and because of the curfew, sixty-four out of ninety-nine UNRWA/Unesco schools lost between five and twenty-one school days, and thirty-five schools between one and four days. After the holidays, the date on which schools were due to open had to be put back from 21 September to 2 October 1982 because of the General situation in the territory. In January 1983, twelve schools in Nablus, Balata and Askar remained closed for between one and three days on account of the curfew, decided on by the Israeli military authorities. The Kalandia Vocational Training Centre was closed by the Israeli military authorities from 14 February 1983 until the end of the month after stones had been thrown at cars near the Centre.

29. The reports submitted by the Director of the UNRWA/Unesco Department of Education further state that Israeli soldiers have entered UNRWA/Unesco schools and that teachers and pupils have been arrested. The reports indicate that three pupils from the UNRWA/Unesco school at Jalazone were arrested on 21 April 1982, twenty-three pupils from the Kalandia Vocational Training Centre on 23 April 1982, .four pupils from the UNRWA/Unesco girls' school at Jalazone on 11 May 1982, and two teachers and 104 pupils from the Kalandia Centre on l4 February 1983. According to these reports, from 4 to 8 April 1982, three UNRWA teachers and on 12 April 1982, five other UNRWA teachers at the Dheisheh Camp schools were likewise arrested and provisionally detained, the latter five for refusing to remove stones which were obstructing traffic. In addition, the reports state that on 2 May 1982, some teachers from the UNRWA/Unesco boys school in Shu'fat Camp refused to obey an order by the border police to remove stones obstructing the road in front of the school, saying that what happened outside the school grounds was not UNRWA's responsibility. The border police later returned, chased the pupils and fired several shots, wounding one of the pupils in the leg. According to the same reports, a fourteen-year old pupil from the school at Arrub in the Hebron region was seriously injured by Israeli soldiers on 2 May 1982 during a demonstration against the bombings by the Israeli Air Force in Lebanon, and she died of her injuries in hospital on 5 May 1982. As a result of this incident, a very large number of pupils stayed away from school in the region of Hebron from 2 to 5 May 1982. Still according to these reports, on 19 May 1982, five armed persons, including two Israeli soldiers, claimed to have been stoned as the bus in which they were travelling drove past the UNRWA/Unesco boys' school at Dheisheh, and they entered the school and struck the principal of the school and the caretaker, who was seriously injured.

III. UNESCO MISSION IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES

30. The Director-General provided the Executive Board at its 1l4th session with some details on the mission he sent to the occupied Arab territories from 21 March to 6 April 1982, and brought some of the mission's findings to the attention of the Board. These details and findings are summed up in the following paragraphs.

31. The mission was composed of five members of the Secretariat: Mr. Soler Roca, Head of the mission, Mrs. Salem, Mr. Balbir, Mr. Botti and Mr. Taha Hussein, and a consultant, Mr. Flandre, until very recently a member of the Organization's staff. The mission stayed in the occupied Arab territories from 21 March to 6 April 1982.

The mission's mandate, as the Director-General bad informed the Permanent Delegate of Israel in his letter to her on 4 April 1980, was 'to ascertain the unsatisfied needs of the population of the occupied Arab territories in regard to education and to make suggestions concerning measures to be taken in that respect'. The mission was also required to conduct more searching studies and submit proposals to bin concerning technical and vocational education, the improvement of teachers' qualifications and status the needs of higher education institutions and the situation of cultural institutions.

Before leaving Paris, the mission examined the documentation available at the Secretariat and -contacted the Permanent Delegates of the Member States con-cerned (Arab Republic of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Syrian Arab Republic), and the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

32. With regard to the mission's actual work, an agreement was reached with the Israeli authorities on the procedures to be followed during visits to educational, and cultural institutions and in private talks with leading Palestinian figures. These procedures made it possible for the mission to carry out as it wished the work entrusted to it. The Director-General is grateful to the Israeli authorities for accepting the working methods proposed by the mission.

The Director-General would like to draw attention to the fact that the mission was unable to go to the Golan as the authorization of the Israeli authorities was. withdrawn at the last minute, the reason given being the situation prevailing there. The mission was also unable to pay an official visit to government educational institutions in East Jerusalem. It was finally unable to visit any of the four universities on the West Bank because of the events in the occupied Arab territories towards the end of March and beginning of April 1982.

33. In considering the educational and cultural situation, the members of the mission endeavoured to take into consideration the main demographic, economic, socio-cultural, legal and administrative factors having a direct bearing on the situation.

With regard to the overall development of the education system, the members of the mission noted that between 1967/1968 and 1980/198l, pre-university school enrolments increased by 4.8 per cent per year and that the proportion of girls rose from 41 per cent in 1967/1966 to 45 per cent in 1980/1981. The mission also noted, however, that this growth had not been accompanied by measures making it possible to provide education under satisfactory conditions. In particular, the standard of the initial training received by many of the teachers is inadequate. There is an obvious shortage of teaching materials at all levels, workshop equipment for technical education is very inadequate and often out of date, classes are often overcrowded, particularly in secondary schools in the Gaza Strip (an average of 4o pupils per class), and premises are often unsuitable or in poor condition. The situation of the teaching staff is becoming precarious since their salaries are not increasing in proportion to the rising cost of living and, in addition, they cannot set up their own professional organizations.

The standard of teaching is suffering as a result of this situation. Furthermore, the mission reports that there is no explicit policy or clear programme in the occupied Arab territories to direct the education and training system towards meeting the social, cultural and economic needs of the people living there. Added to this lack of an explicit education policy is the fact that there are no practical arrangements providing any satisfactory linkage between the various types and levels of education.


The members of the mission examined the various levels and types of education and considered the problem of the resources needed for them. On the basis of information supplied at the mission's request by the Israeli authorities - to whom the Director-General expresses bis gratitude for their efforts to obtain for the mission the information required - and taking into account a wide variety of evidence and documents from leading Palestinian figures, as well as its own on-the-spot observations, the mission drew up its conclusions, the main points of which the Director-General would like to recapitulate:

The unsuitability of teaching methods and the shortage of appropriate teaching materials are affecting the standard of general education in government schools. The normal learning process is also being affected at the three levels of general education by delays in the distribution or textbooks.
Technical and vocational education account for an extremely small proportion of secondary school enrolments (4.3 per cent in the Gaza Strip and 5.2 per cent in the West Bank), and lack adequate equipment and facilities.
The system of vocational training set up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs aims at the rapid training of a semi-skilled Palestinian work-force that can be used immediately and is, as a rule, recruited by firms located in Israel.
Initial training for teachers in Government school is handicapped by a lack of precision in the programmes to be applied and by a lack of clear instructions concerning the methods to be used in teacher-training centres, the shortage of teaching materials, the disorganized distribution of text-books, a lack of appropriate reference works and a lack of interest in innovations being made in the rest of the world. There is no systematic approach to in-service training.
The inadequate salaries often compel teachers to take on some other employment, which is prejudicial to the standard of their teaching and to their social image.
Establishments of higher education have difficulty in getting the educational, scientific and technical materials they need because of high taxes and censorship on imported books. They also encounter a great many obstacles when it comes to obtaining the authorizations that would enable them to use their funds for improving and expanding their facilities.
Educational services do not give sufficient attention to the various forms ofout-of-school education, and the problem of adult illiteracy appears to be totally overlooked. The shortcomings and unsuitability of the education system contribute to a great many young people remaining unprepared for working life.
The deficiencies referred to above stem mainly from the inadequacy of funds for government schools. In the Gaza Strip, where textbooks are not issued free of charge, it is sometimes difficult for families to buy the books their children need, even at the elementary and preparatory levels. To improve the system's efficiency and to make some headway towards free education, there is no doubt that the funds available for the running of Government schools need to be increased.
34. On the basis of these conclusions, the members of the mission drew up a series of recommendations concerning more particularly:
the establishment of a technical and educational research centre to improve curricula at the various levels and to help to introduce young people to the world of work, to organize school and vocational selection and guidance and to identify new subject-matter and methods for technical education;
a series of measures to develop initial teacher training, to organize in-service training for teachers on a systematic basis and to improve their status, especially with regard to salaries and the exercise of union rights;
the provision of teaching aids and materials for educational institutions;
training of documentalists and librarians for establishments of higher education;
improvements to school buildings and facilities and construction of new premises;
increase in the funds set aside by the Israeli occupation authorities for educational institutions;
linkages between non-formal vocational training activities and the formal technical and vocational education programne;
inclusion of socially relevant productive activities in the curricula of establishments of higher education;
a precise assessment of the extent of adult illiteracy and, on the basis of this assessment, formation of measures to support adult literacy and adult education activities.

With regard to the present state of culture in the occupied Arab territories, it appears that the number of cultural institutions is declining and that no funds have been set aside to encourage the development of reading (books, the press), the arts or sport, or for the preservation of the cultural heritage.

The members of the mission suggested a series of measures to improve the situation of cultural institutions, in particular by removing the obstacles to their development; the adoption of measures to safeguard the Palestinian cultural heritage (monuments and sites or written documents) cultural exchanges between the population of the occupied Arab territories and the outside world, in particular by removing censorship, and support to the preservation and development of the "various aspects of its cultural identity, especially through the publication of "books on folk art and culture, translation and publication of contemporary literary works in widely used languages, travelling exhibitions of reproductions of works of art, musical recordings, and so on.

Some of the conclusions reached by the mission are more general in scope. The mission pointed out, in particular, that there has been no tangible improvement in the situation as described in documents 18 C/16, 19 C/73, 20 C/113 and 21 C/18; if anything, it appears to have become worse. The recommendations made by the Director-General in 1978 and approved by the Executive Board at its 104th session and by the General Conference at its twentieth session have had no effect.


35. After making a detailed examination of the report submitted to him by the members of the mission, the Director-General sent a letter to the Permanent Delegate of Israel on 19 February 1983. He drew her attention to the mission's terms of reference and to the fact that for certain reasons it had been unable to carry out all the tasks assigned to it. He informed her that the mission had none the less made recommendations concerning measures which, in the view of its members, might improve the present situation of educational and cultural institutions. The Director-General then outlined these practical recommendations, which deal with the following matters;

Planning and co-ordination of educational activities

There should be some way by which the inhabitants of the occupied Arab territories could examine their own needs, so that they can decide what they consider to be the most appropriate priorities with regard to education and training, planning, and resource allocation. In that connection, the mission suggested that the Council of Higher Education for the occupied Arab territories and the educational institutions of these territories should be given the means to undertake planning and co-ordination studies and projects covering all educational services, and to set up any machinery they considered, appropriate for that purpose.

Content and methods of teaching

The setting up of a technical body to be responsible for the pedagogical aspects of teaching seems necessary in order to help ensure that the curricula for general education are core effectively applied, that the curriculum for technical and vocational training is better planned, and that it is possible to take greater account, at all levels of education, of the situation and needs of the population. A technical and educational research centre night be the answer.

Training and status of teaching staff

It appears that several measures need to be taken to improve the standard of education, e.g. reorganization of initial and in-service training for teachers in general education, establishment of an institution specializing in initial and in-service training of staff in technical and vocational education, and the introduction of an equitable policy for teachers' pay. The mission pointed out that these various measures call for participation by those involved, which means that teachers should be able to organize themselves into professional associations.

Teaching materials and facilities

Government schools should be able to acquire the teaching materials they need - particularly textbooks - in order to provide teaching of a high standard, and special emphasis should be placed on improving school buildings and on constructing functional premises to replace rented premises. Steps must also be taken to ensure that establishments of higher education are able to use their funds for improving and extending their facilities.

Out-of-school education

Adult literacy and adult education programmes should be drawn up and put into effect, based on an assessment of the extent and characteristics of illiteracy and with the support of radio and television. Special measures should be taken to prepare young people for working life. In addition, it would be desirable for the non-governmental organizations and educational institutions in the occupied Arab territories to be in a position to carry out their activities effectively.

Financial resources

An increase in financial resources is needed to carry out these various measures. For instance, teachers' salaries should be reassessed on the basis of salary scales used by UNRWA for educational activities.

The Director-General concluded his letter with a request to the Permanent Delegate of Israel to convey to him any comments made by the Government of Israel on the various points set out in his letter, so that he could take whatever action is required, for the proper functioning of the educational and cultural institutions of the occupied Arab territories, in accordance with decision 5.1.2 adopted by the Executive Board at its 114th session.
36. In a letter dated 4 March 1983, the Permanent Delegate of Israel to Unesco, referring to the Director-General's letter of 19 February 1963 concerning the recommendations of the mission he had sent to the occupied Arab territories, informed him that his letter had been forwarded to the appropriate Israeli authorities and that she would naturally inform him of their response as soon as it had been communicated to her.



United Nations Educational,
and Cultural Organization
Executive Board


Hundred-and-sixteenth Session
116 EX/16 Corr.
PARIS, 20 May 1983
Original: French

Item 5.1.5 of the provisional agenda

IMPLEMENTATION OF 21 C/RESOLUTION 14.1
CONCERNING EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES: REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
CORRIGENDUM


In the middle of paragraph 24, replace the sentence 'The Director-General also informed him that he bad details of the new procedure.' by the sentence:

'The Director-General also informed him that he had asked for details of the new procedure.'.


Addenda 1-3

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