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Monday, September 05, 2011

Gaza school children plagued by siege


Hamas Deputy Minister of Education Mohammed Abu Shkeir says Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip has caused troubles for school children in the enclave, Press TVreported.

"There are about 400,000 school children in Gaza schools, including governmental, UN-run, and private schools," he told Press TV.

"There are shortcomings in classrooms and students have to study in two shifts due to lack of schools, which is a direct result to the blockade," the Hamas official added.

More than 80 percent of public and UN schools work double shifts in the morning and evening due to lack of classrooms, according to figures released by UNICEF.

Israel's blockade, which has been imposed on the sliver since 2007, has caused poverty among families and put children at risk of school dropout and psychological distress.

Tel Aviv's restrictions on importing construction material into Gaza has forced schools to place students in cramped rooms and cut the class time by third.

Private school owner Umaima Abulkheir said families, who could afford private schools in previous years, are not able to enroll their children in these schools this year because of high cost of living and unemployment. 

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