The Palestinian Ministry of Education has said
“The campaign against the Palestinian curriculum began with the publication of the first Palestinian curriculum in 2000. It continues today through some Israeli bodies that claim to be independent research institutions. These…politically motivated institutions demonstrably distort the Palestinian curriculum by using either fabricated examples or taking segments from textbooks out of context.”
The attacks on the curriculum constitute:
It is important to note that The Palestinian curriculum has been internationally certified and meets all the relevant standards of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) curriculum development as well as the relevant provisions of UNICEF.
Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, said recently during the delivery of his annual report,
“I wish to reiterate that, in 2020 and 2021, UNRWA faced intense politically motivated attacks that sought to question its mandate, its relevance and the integrity of its staff, primarily through attacks on the quality of the education that Palestine refugee children receive.”
Lazzarini made it very clear
“We review all Host countries’ textbooks to identify passages that are not in line with UN principles or values. We then train our personnel to address them critically in the classroom to help our students engage in independent thinking. Any passages that praise violence, whatever the context, are not taught.”
We would like to draw your attention to the draft amendment to the European Union budget which was submitted in September. Draft amendment 4083 submitted by Renew Group members aimed to reserve funding to the tune of €20million from UNRWA who already face dire funding shortages in their programme to deliver education and aid to millions of Palestinian refugees. This week, whilst commenting on the disbursement of this year’s EU funding to UNRWA, Josep Borrell stated that
“We remain determined to support UNRWA both politically and financially, including by providing long term reliability. The Agency plays an essential role in providing vital services to millions of Palestine refugees and stabilising the region. Our support to UNRWA is not only a humanitarian duty; it also helps to keep alive the prospects of sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. UNRWA’s services remain key to contribute to a viable negotiated two-State solution, including a fair, agreed and realistic solution to the refugee issue.”
The Palestinian education system is uniquely dependent on donor funding due to the prolonged occupation. This dependence should not be used as a tool with which to diminish the uniquely Palestinian education.
UNRWA wrote to the EU Committee on Budgetary Affairs, the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Foreign Affairs Committee in April 2021. In their letter, they outlined
“Sadly, attacks against UNRWA and our education programme have intensified in recent months, and we are obliged to respond to unsubstantiated and sensationalist reports that distort and misrepresent facts…such reports take references and passages from teaching material out of context, in order to make false claim about the integrity of UNRWA. In doing so, they harm an Agency which genuinely works to ensure that Palestine refugee students continue to develop their full potential providing them with education consistent with UN values.”