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Education in the State of Palestine

In Palestine there is compulsory schooling for children between 6 and 15 Age.

The school year begins in late August or early September and ends in late May the following year. Accordingly includes the school year 210-215 school days (one day off a week) or 175-180 days of school (with two days off). 

Schools side 1474 state schools exist 147 private schools, mostly with church organizations, and 253 UNRWA-S (The UN agency with the longest running assistance program is responsible for schools for Palestinian refugees).

The total number of school students in Palestine increased from 1,109,126 in 2008/2009 to 1,138,965 in 2012/2013.

The higher education sector is well developed. Many universities that offer both bachelor's and master's programs originated in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. 

Education System

There are three types of schools from perspective of gender in Palestine: boys’ schools (37%), girls’ schools (35%), and co-educational schools (29%).[2]

In Palestine, education system, compulsory basic education includes Grades 1 to 10 and this is divided into the preparatory stage (Grades 1 to 4) and the empowerment stage (Grades 5 to 10). Secondary education (general secondary education and a few vocational secondary schools) covers Grades 11 and 12. In tertiary education, there are 11 universities (10 private and one public) and 11 technical colleges (4 Palestinian Authority, 2 UNRWA, 4 public and 1 private), all of which mainly offer four-year courses. Additionally, there are 19 community colleges (1 Palestinian Authority, 9 public, 2 UNRWA, and 7 private) that mainly offer two-year diploma courses in technical and commercial specializations

The first refugee camp schools for were established by the Red Cross in 1949. First UNRWA elementary six-year schools befun in 1959-60 school year. UNRWA schools offer Grades 1 to 10 and do not provide secondary education (Grade 11 and 12). UNRWA’s education provision has played a major role in Palestinian education since 1967.

Even if students in Grade 1 to 3 do not achieve well, they are not to repeat a grade at that level by the ministry policy. However, students in Grades 4 to 12 are to repeat by the ministry regulations (maximum of 5 percent of a class cohort), which is based on the students’ total average achievement score for a year. There is no remedial teaching for the students nominated to repeat during their repeated year

Higher education

The university education consists of four years college education to obtain a bachelor's degree and additional two years for a master's degree. Some colleges provide two years of education for a diploma course. During 2005 in the West Bank and Gaza, there were 10 universities, 1 distance education university (Al-Quds Open University), 13 university colleges, and 19 community colleges. Most of these universities were established and developed mostly since the period of Israel occupation begun in 1967. Majority of the universities are non-profit institutions. They combine fund-raise with funding received from the Palestinian Authority.

In Higher Education Institutions, 138,139 students were enrolled during the 2004/2005 academic year. Among them, 76,650 students (55% of total) were enrolled in universities, 46,453 students (34%) are enrolled in the distance education university, 6,034 students (4%) were enrolled in university colleges, and 9,002 students (7%) were enrolled in the community colleges. The male students share is greater than that of female students in the universities, open university and university colleges. On the other hand, the share of female students is greater in the community colleges. (MOEHE 2005a) Gross enrollment ratios for higher education were 46.2% for total, 41.6% for male, and 50.9% for female students in 2007.

More students enrolled in certain academic programs such as social science, education, and humanities and arts in higher education, and the share of science and engineering is proportionately less.

Demand for tertiary education has increased significantly in the past decade with students enrolled in tertiary education institutions more than tripling between 1995 and 2006. Some academics have suggested that Palestinian Authority higher education system needs to not only satisfy the increasing demand from the growing population of secondary education graduates, but also to maintain quality and relevance to meet the changing demands of the global economy. In addition, public financing for tertiary education is considered insufficient given Palestinian Authority financial circumstances. The system heavily depends on student fees, which represent 60% of universities’ operating costs.

 The MOEHE has developed a new student loan scheme for tertiary education. The objectives of this loan scheme are: 1) to create a sustainable resource that will assist students into the future, 2) to ensure that students understand their responsibility to share the cost of their education, 3) to provide a strong, streamlined repayment system that is easy and fair (repayments of loans must be collected from all students), and 4) to provide a collection mechanism that will ensure sustainability (a revolving fund) 

UNESCO states that because of "isolation, [the Universities] have suffered in particular from the absence of research departments.

"Inter-university co-operation programmes are underway, such as TOKTEN, PEACE and MEDCAMPUS. They are supported by partners such as the European UnionUNESCO and the UNDP. The PEACE programme (Palestinian-European Academic Co-operation in Education) involves 23 Palestinian Authority and European universities. It has been particularly noteworthy for having allowed students and teachers from the West Bank and Gaza to be admitted to European faculties at a time when the university establishments of Gaza and the West Bank were closed. In a second phase, it is to provide for the dispatch of missions of volunteer academics, on sabbatical, from Europe, North America and the rest of the world to the West Bank and Gaza."[18]"Palestinian students wishing to obtain a doctorate must study either in Israel, or overseas."[19]

Starting in November 2017, around half the foreign lecturers in Palstinian universities began to be informed that their residency visas would not be extended because they had been "living in the area for more than five years."[20] In addition, their spouses were required to pay tens of thousands of shekels as guarantee that they would not work.

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