GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Though it’s home to about 50,000 Palestinian refugees, the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip does not have a public high school for boys.
Troubles and difficulties in the public schooling system in the coastal enclave aren’t unusual, however, in al-Maghazi camp the situation is much more complicated.
For girls, there is one public high school which operates early and late shifts to cope with the large number of female students.
Ever since the refugee camp was established, however, male students have been forced to travel either to Deir al-Balah and Nuseirat refugee camp every day to get high school education.
Muaz Ismail, a tenth grader from al-Maghazi, studies at al-Manfaluoti high school in Deir al-Balah. Since his family can’t afford to pay for transportation, Ismail walks to and from school. It takes him about half an hour in each direction.
Mustafa al-Layy is considered lucky compared to his peers as his family can afford to allocate about 70 shekels ($20) every month to cover his transportation to school.
He says he sometimes walks with his peers to “sympathize with them.”
Asked to comment on the situation, the project director of the Hamas-run ministry of education, Basim Sharab, says building a high school for boys in al-Maghazi is among his ministry’s top priorities.
Sharab highlighted that the ministry obtained a tract of land from the Gaza Strip land authority upon which the ministry will build a high school for boys.