Waiting for hours at military checkpoints, lacking infrastructure and having to cope with the daily struggles of occupation are no obstacles for Palestinians, who aim to combat illiteracy and make education available for all. These five inspiring statistics show how education in Palestine can turn a model for development in the Arab world.
1) Literacy: Despite living under extremely difficult political and economic circumstances, Palestine has reached of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world: According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), illiteracy was dropped to 6% in 2009.
2) Formal education: The rate of enrollment in educational institutions in 2008 was 98.2%, a considerable increase compared to the 81% of young students enrolled in 1994. 75% of the total 1.18 million students attend government schools, whereas 25% go to UNRWA and private schools.
3) Gender equality: Palestine has achieved equality between males and females in terms of access to basic and secondary school education; females made up 57% of university enrollment in 2008/2009.
4) University: 33% of students between 18 and 30 years old are enrolled in university.
5) Investment: According to PCBS, between 2008 and 2009, 17.5% of the national income was dedicated to education. Of a total 2,488 schools in 2009/2010, 70% are governmental.
To read more articles about education in Palestine and to be inspired by Palestinian students who are striving to improve their futures, visit the Hani Qaddumi Scholarship Foundation official website.