School transportation and access to education
Children in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, face severe and chronic protection challenges getting to and from school every day. They cross Israeli military check points; experience settler harassment and violence on their commute to and from school, and some must walk for long distances on dangerous roads. These problems, related to lack of safe access to education, result in drop out (especially girls in secondary school) as well as in separation of families in their efforts to ensure that their children go to school.
The school transportation project in Susiya, a village in the southern Hebron hills, is an example of how a protective intervention such as transportation can help children stay in school. The village is surrounded by Israeli settlements and a military camp; in addition there was a road block on the main street to Yatta, where the school is located. All these factors created a situation in which children’s access to education was severely hampered. Families had to relocate in order to send their children to school. After a small van was provided by a humanitarian organisation to transport the children to school, previously displaced families returned to their village. The number of families in Susiya increased from 20 (in 2006) to 45 (in 2011). Study shows that protected access to education was one of the main factors that helped families decide to return.
In 2011/2012 selected vulnerable communities at risk of school drop-out will be supported with protected transportation through a collaboration between humanitarian actors and the Palestinian Authority to ensure safe access to education for children.