by Zaynab Zarghoune (Interpal Intern)
The school holidays have arrived and sometimes we wish that it would never end, glad as we are of the break from homework and the tiring slog of the school year. We have minimal time to sleep, are squeezed with heavy workloads and seem to be constantly short of time to switch off, (and to watch all the shows in our Netflix queue!) But, as the holidays draw to a close, the excitement of shiny, new stationery leaves us almost pining for those boring French lessons in which you can highlight your verb conjugations with all the pretty new colours. Then, you leave school and come to the realisation that those were your best years. You leave school empowered with knowledge. You begin to feel thankful for those long hours spent poring over those very same painful verb endings that you forever hold in your mind, and can draw upon wherever necessary. This kind of knowledge becomes your greatest asset in later life, imparting in you the potential to change the world.
Being brought up in such a privileged country we sometimes fail to note that many people are in fact deprived of this basic tenet of citizenship. In some cases we tend to reject the notion that education is scarce for many, and that there are those who strive greatly in order to gain opportunities that we may take for granted.
Education is a crucial foundation in establishing human rights. Article 2 of the first protocol is the right to education, stating that ‘No one can be denied the right to an education’. This encompasses: access to academic institutions, an education in the national language and the receipt of official recognition when studies have been completed.
It is easy to lose sight of the long-term benefits that a rigorous education equips you with when you are so used to the daily routine of the school day. For the children of Palestine, the luxury of routine is all too easily interrupted by a lack of adequate facilities and resources or, more worryingly, the threat of an attack like the one seen in 2014. For children living in the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, the situation is even more unstable as classroom sizes continue to spill over regulation sizes and resources are depleted.
Interpal strives to provide an education to children who are denied their #RightToEducation in order to enable them to reach their full potential. Our annual #BackToSchool campaign centres education as the foundation for envisioning a fair and just Palestine for the younger generation to work towards creating.
You can call 0208 961 9993 or visit interpal.org to donate.