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European Union Heads of Cooperation in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited today a number of Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem. The delegation was briefed on the educational situation and the challenges facing Palestinian students and schools.
Heads of Cooperation visited two schools in East Jerusalem: Al Rawda Al Haditha in Zaayem and Sheikh Sa'ad Boys School.
At Al Rawda Al Haditha in Zaayem, the school administration briefed the delegation on the challenges facing them in their daily work. The principal and the teachers highlighted the achievements of the students who were able to overcome the obstacles and demonstrate strong educational performance. The students' parliament presented the concerns and aspirations of the students. The Belgian Development Agency, Enabel, then presented the work to be done in the context of the future cooperation between the EU and Enabel under ''the resilience in schools in East Jerusalem'' project. The delegation then met the Head of Zaayem Community Council who briefed them about the community that is facing many risks due to the Israeli measures.
The group visited later Sheikh Sa'd Boys School where they met with representatives of the local community and school administration. The NGO Terres des Hommes briefed the group on the challenges facing the education system in East Jerusalem and the ongoing efforts to counter the negative consequences on the students' well-being and academic performance.
The EU and it Member States are strong supporters of the right to education as well as access to vocational and continuing training. The EU Human Rights and Democracy Strategy for 2016-2020 identified the Rights of the Child as a priority area.
The Palestinian Authority and Israel have both ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Optional Protocol for the rights of the child in armed conflict. The Palestinian Authority has also signed the Safe Schools Declaration.
States have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of the child, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children.
For more information:
The Office of the European Union Representative
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958); Inas Abu Shirbi (02 541 5 859, 0599 673 957)