Fate of Education in Gaza due to Recurrence of Conflicts and the 2020 COVID 19 Breakout
IDR 1 – Blog 1
17th July 2020
International development (ID) and education, are a unique powerful combo that can construct or destruct the generations, communities and eventually the world.
Since I started reading through ID courses allocated content, reading through fellow students’ discussion panels, and adding to that knowledge accumulated through working in the field of education for more than 25 years; I realized that this world is segregated through vast misconceptions of rights and duties. The amount of poverty, instability, ignorance, humanitarian abuses, environmental destruction, and injustice that we have reached after tens of years of “democracy” are telling us: pause and find another solution!
Moreover, this combo of readings and experience made me believe deeply that the solution is in fair access for education for all. A dilemma that is not answered. A dilemma that made me put so many question marks about the huge incongruities in access to education in different parts of the world.
For the coming generations to be able to fix what have been destroyed, they need to work together. Working together requires a lot of education. This type of education is not content based, yet it is more of an ethical practical skills-based education, that help all of us “learn” to communicate “value” rather than “news” and “opinions”. And help us consider saving one’s own life through building other lives and supporting other communities. This was Truman’s vision when he planned to reconstruct Europe after WWII (2).
From another view, Escobar (1) have described “participatory development” as a top down ethnocentric approach, by which people and cultures are moved up and down the measuring parameters according to the developers’ interests. Hence, in this perspective, education and development of “othered” nations will not be put first before control and hegemony, despite to the genuine hearts that are seeking real justice and recognition of indigenous people’s knowledge and rights in education, freedom and legitimate governance.
Moreover, the western definitions and procedures that are used as thresholds from where development is launched, that do not recognize Indigenous knowledge as content that is measured, evaluated and controlled; will at some point of time fall into “hypocritic” solutions. For example, Truman who knew that consequences of the WWII destruction in Europe will flash back on America and its progress, Planned in the exact same time in 1948 (2) to sign with the lobbying minds to allow the occupation of Palestine, and to agree to destroy the Palestinian nation. His interest at that point, was him winning his presidential elections and not development of other communities, which will on the long run flash back on America.
In our current world, the right to development, if it contradicts with the economic political prioritized targets, then it becomes a no – right. Rights to development are limited, to the service level, rather than solving problems level. For example, the right to development was re-adopted right at the Vienna Conference in 1986. A program of action was agreed upon in a global legal consensus. However, as explained by Uvin 2004 (3), it is important to understand the significant difference between a service-based and a rights-based approach to development. To have a right to something as food, access to water, temporary shelters, and education, is a form of accepted right-based development, but not a service that states with economic political interests will prioritize in offshore projects. Such moves give the donor state the image of a virtual giver, without changing or impacting its political economic priorities, hence it is an “ok” right of development case that won’t be taken to action.
Based on the above, and looking closely into an example of the abundant community of Gaza (an occupied Palestinian Territory), that has been ignored since it was occupied in 1948 and was put under total blockade since 13 years by the israeli occupation forces, the fate of education in Gaza became a very big question to me that needs to be looked into and find its answer, hence the tittle. And the topic became more pressing specifically, after the breakout of COVID 10 pandemic, that put the territory in a double blockade catastrophe. OR as described by Mr. Refat Sabbah, the president of ACEA (International Campaign for Education for all), the fate of education in Gaza is being under the catch of two viruses, the Corona Virus and the occupation virus, as came in his talk on the Webinar that was held on the 9th of July 2020, and titled” “Education: the pathway for transformation during and after a crisis”.
The link is provided here: https://www.facebook.com/ICAEGlobal/live/
- Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. PRINCETON; OXFORD: Princeton University Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctt7rtgw
- “Marshall Plan | Summary and Significance”. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
- (Uvin, Peter 2004. Human Rights and Development,Bloomfield: Kumarian Press