Education-Related Incidents in oPt – Annual Report, January – December 2021 – occupied Palestinian territory

In 2021, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), the Education Cluster recorded 183 education-related incidents directly affecting 12,070 students and 501 teachers and school staff causing prolonged loss of learning for 601,914 students. This represents approximately a 50% increase in incidents targeting schools and students in comparison to the year prior1. Both 2020 and 2021 reported less education incidents in comparison to 20192. This decrease is attributed to the partial closure of schools in oPt for the second semester of the 2021/2020 scholastic year due to COVID-19 closures and the adoption of a blended approach to learning, physical attendance was limited in schools and around schools. This was further exacerbated by the 2021 May escalation. The effects of which, caused severe electricity cuts leading to limited internet access due to the damage to infrastructure including schools. This led the Ministry of Education (MoE) to announce an early end to the academic year on 3 June with UNRWA following closures of its schools on 10 June.

Schools reopened fully in August 2021 and students and schools returned to 100 percent face-to-face learning while taking the necessary precautions in avoiding the spread of COVID19. Numbers show that in the second half of 2021, significant increase in the number of education related incidents were reported in the West bank namely with the start of the academic year between September-December 2021. Furthermore, this year saw a sharp increase in the number of detained / arrested children with 23 students either briefly detained or arrested from their schools or while commuting to their schools. 14 of those students were detained in the second half of 2021.

Types of education-related incidents in oPt include the following: attacks on schools, military use of schools, threats of attacks on students and school staff, lost school time due to delays at checkpoints, military presence in or around schools in addition to the use of live ammunition and tear gas against students and schools, schools searches and raids, detention in educational context, confiscation of educational items, intimidation of students and school staff while commuting to school, schools demolition and stop-work orders as well as settler related violence against students, staff and educational facilities.

Read the 2021 annual report on education incidents in the oPt for more information.

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