New school year starts in Gaza after 5 month closures due to coronavirus

By Saud Abu Ramadan

Gaza, Aug 8 (efe-epa).– Tens of thousands of schoolchildren returned to class on Saturday in the besieged Gaza Strip following five months of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All schools run by the government, private institutions and those operated by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) reopened on Saturday morning amid precautionary measures against the pandemic.

Pupils in uniforms were seen carrying their book bags and heading back to their classrooms either on foot, riding busses or in vans and cars.

The ministry of education and UNRWA announced the new academic year 2020-2021 would start one month ahead of the normal schedule to help students catch up after their studies were interrupted in March and April.

Education officials said all schools in the Gaza Strip have been sterilized during the past couple of days and class hours have been reduced.

Authorities also said schoolchildren will study a remedial curriculum of subjects that were not completed last year.

All pupils will also have a wear facemask and gloves.

Farid Abu Azra, head of UNRWA’s education program in Gaza, told Efe: “We have a series of programs that aim at presenting psychological support to the students who have been negatively affected by staying at home for a long period.”

“Besides, we will teach the students in our schools how to deal with the new virus by urging them to follow health and preventive precautionary instructions and adopt these measures to be as part of the children’s daily routine,” he added.

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