Study and find schools in Palestine
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Cities to study in Palestine
The Occupied Palestinian Territory, also known as the Palestinian territories or simply the state of Palestine, comprise the disputed West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which are politically under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority and the Hamas Government in Gaza. Following the region’s declaration of independence in 1988, the Palestinian territories have been recognized by nearly seventy-five percent of the world’s countries to be a part of the State of Palestine, although this declaration was not recognized by the United Nations, Israel and many western states, including the United States and United Kingdom.
The Gaza strip portion of the Palestinian territory is currently governed by the Hamas-led Palestinian government, while the disputed West Bank region is under dual control, with some parts under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority, and others controlled by Israeli military authorities. The latter of these parts, the Israeli controlled areas of the West Bank, are called Occupied Palestinian Territory by the United Nations and the World Court. Although neither the West Bank nor Gaza Strip has an officially recognized capital, they both have “administrative centers,” Ramallah for the West Bank and Gaza for the Gaza Strip. East Jerusalem is the proclaimed capital of the State of Palestine, although it is not internationally recognized.
The Occupied Palestinian Territory has an estimated population of 3.9 million, most of whom are Arabs who are native to the region. Israeli military occupants on the West Bank, however, are of Jewish ethnicity. There are three languages that are officially recognized in the territories: Arabic, Hebrew and English. Arabic, or Palestinian Arabic, is the most widely spoken language in the Occupied Palestinian territories, spoken as a first language by nearly all of the Arab population. Hebrew is the official language among soldiers and other Israeli groups on the West Bank, while English is taught as a second language in schools and is used for certain functions within the economic, political and legal sectors.
Education in Palestine
The educational system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, referring to that in Gaza and the West Bank, is under the supervision and administration of the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Under this system there are three types of schools: boy’s schools, representing 37 percent of the total number of schools, girl’s schools (35%) and co-educational schools (29%). The education system is divided between three levels: basic education, secondary education and tertiary education.
Basic education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories spans 10 years (Grades 1 through 10) and is free and compulsory for all Palestinian children between the ages of 6 and 16. Basic education is further divided into two distinct stages: the preparatory stage, Grades 1-4; and the empowerment stage, Grades 5-10. In the preparatory stage the focus of instruction is initially placed on reading and writing education, as well as basic arithmetic and mathematics. In grades 5-10 or the empowerment stage, many other subjects are gradually added to the curriculum, including science, Arabic, English, civics, Islamic studies, practical arts, social and cultural studies and physical education.
Secondary education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is also free to attend, and although not mandated, it is well attended by Palestinian students. It spans only two years, Grades 11 and 12, and includes two educational tracks from which students can choose: general education and vocational education. General education is purely academic and helps prepare students for university enrollment, while vocational education focuses on careers and trades that are important to the Palestinian economy, training and certifying students to enter the workforce upon graduation.
Tertiary education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is provided by 11 universities (10 private and one public) and 11 technical colleges (4 operated by the Palestinian Authority, 2 by the UNRWA, 4 public and 1 private). Universities and technical colleges all offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of academic and professional fields. Additionally there are 19 community colleges in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, primarily offering two-year diploma courses in technical and commercial specializations.
Enrollment rates at every level in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are relatively high when compared to regional and global standards, and education is highly valued by the youth of the country, with over 60 percent of students aged 11-24 saying education is their number one priority. The adult literacy rates for the region, 91 percent for all adults and 98 percent for youth (15-24), reflect the importance that is placed on education by both families and the Palestinian government.
Map of Palestine