6 October 2010
“Education is the only thing that cannot be taken away from Palestinians,” said 15-year-old Reem Moufleh, from UNRWA’s al-Mansoura school in Yarmouk camp.
Her passion for learning is reflected in Reem’s perfect marks in her school exams. Along with Basima Mohammad Oudeh (15) and Majd Sabbagh (14), she achieved 100 per cent in the national basic education exams. The teenagers were the top three pupils across all UNRWA’s Syrian schools.
Success opens many doors and it is clear that the three students all aspire to help Palestinian refugees. Basima, from al-Faloujeh school in Yarmouk camp, hopes that her continued passion and determination will allow her to attend a new school recently established by President Assad for the most talented students in the country. After that, she hopes to become a doctor in Syria so that she can help to provide treatment for Palestinian refugees.
Likewise, Majd, from Shafa Amr School in Qaboun, Damascus, says her dream is to open free health clinics for Palestinian refugees. Although Reem has not decided on a specific course of study, she is certain that she wants to be part of a generation that gains freedom in Palestine.
Their success was honoured at a ceremony held to celebrate their academic excellence. The three students were modest about their achievements and recognised the role their teachers and schools have played in their success.
All three spoke of their teachers who constantly encouraged and pushed them to excel, and who had the utmost faith and confidence in them, helping the students to spend time improving their education.
Rising pass rate
The pass rate for UNRWA’s students in the national exams continues to rise and already stands at over 90 per cent, against a national average of 69.64 per cent. Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees, lauded the three students as a true testament to the quality of education provided by UNRWA-run schools.
Basima, Reem and Majd are among 30 students from across Syria who scored full marks in their exams. Despite lacking basic facilities such as science laboratories and playgrounds, Palestinian students have once again shown their dedication to achieving an education.
Many UNRWA schools already work on double-shifts to cater for the sheer number of children seeking an education. It is hoped that continued investment and commitment will provide increased opportunities for the next generation of Palestinians.
Text by Firdaus Mahmood