No School for Gaza's Children as New Term Starts Amid Fighting

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Rayan*, 13, returns to his destroyed school in the Shuja’iya district of Gaza
Rayan*, 13, returns to his destroyed school in the Shuja’iya district of Gaza

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 26, 2014) — As children around the world prepare to return to school for the new school year, young people in Gaza are being denied their right to an education. Schools are due to reopen for the new term on Sunday 24th August, but the current conflict means that has been delayed indefinitely.

Over the last six weeks more than 200 school buildings have been damaged or destroyed, and many of the remaining schools are still hosting the tens of thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes. Aside from the lack of classrooms, it is also often too dangerous for children to go out.

As a result, almost half a million school children living in Gaza will not be able to start the new term this Sunday. The delay in going back to school – which could go on for months if a permanent ceasefire deal is not reached – will have a devastating long-term impact on children’s education and mental health.

Save the Children’s David Hassell said: “Even before the current conflict Gaza’s school infrastructure was dire, with many pupils having to study in shifts because of a lack of classroom space. Now, children are being prevented from getting an education altogether.

The children we work with in Gaza are desperate to study – they want to be doctors, teachers and lawyers. To deny them the opportunity that children all over the world have to learn and grow is senseless and counterproductive. Save the Children is calling on both sides in this conflict to stop attacks on schools and to urgently reach a lasting ceasefire, so as to enable children to return to school as soon as possible.”

As well as calling for a permanent ceasefire, Save the Children seeks an end to the violence that has caused immense suffering to children and their families on both sides of this conflict. We are concerned for the wellbeing of both Israeli and Palestinian families.

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood-- every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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