World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Ease Asked So Palestinian Students Can Take Exams

UN Agencies Urge Israel To Ease Restrictions So Palestinian Students Can Take Exams

Voicing concern about access for 60,000 Palestinian school students seeking to travel to key examination sites, 10 United Nations agencies issued a joint statement calling on the Israeli authorities to ease movement restrictions in the occupied territories.

Today marks the start of the Tawjihi high school matriculation exams, which are considered key to the future of young Palestinian pupils.

“Failure to sit for these exams will result in forfeiting the entire school year,” said David S. Bassiouni, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Special Representative in the West Bank and Gaza. “Students will not be able to study in universities and they will be forced to repeat their studies next year.” he added. Anders Fänge, Director of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations in the West Bank, agreed. “If these children are denied safe access to their examination sites, their whole future is undermined,” he said.

Adding his voice, Khaled Abdelshafi, head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Gaza, pointed out that Israel’s recent incursions in Rafah have damaged the area’s economy and infrastructure. “To add this restriction of preventing the school children from writing these exams to the already volatile equation will seriously stifle our efforts to attain human development in the area,” he said. “It’s like adding insult to injury.”

Regular and safe access to schools has been an ongoing problem for many Palestinian children. A survey of UN-run schools showed a 16 per cent low-achievement rate, and an 11.5 per cent rate of fear and anxiety among school children.

The statement was issued by UNICEF, UNRWA, UNDP, World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA), UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More

Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>