Exceeding Your Expectations: Education Is a Beacon of Hope for Palestinian Refugees – Occupied Palestinian Territory
“I can’t express how happy I was when I got the results of the 8th grade national exam on the night of July 19th! The nerves were tense, the long-awaited day has finally arrived,” said Rama Salam, a Palestinian refugee student in Syria. “It was a night filled with great joy and happiness. It was the best night of my life as my relatives and friends called to congratulate me,” she added happily.
Fourteen-year-old Rama, who has been driven from Yarmouk, lives with his family in Dammar, Damascus, and attends UNRWA’s Enghazal school. She was only five when her family left the camp to seek safety as the situation worsened, but Lama remembers the sky well. Leaving everything behind was a traumatic experience for her family. Darkness stands out most in her childhood memories of her Rama. “Cannonballs were exploding all around us. We could see sparks everywhere and hear flying debris,” she recalls.
Rama is one of thousands of students who recently passed the national grade 9 exam. She scored her 3,090 out of a total of 3,100. This is the highest score of all her UNRWA students in Syria. Like her other students, Ms. Rama faced the daunting task of hours of power outages and made great efforts to continue her studies. She was used to studying by candlelight most nights or on her mother’s smart phone—she doesn’t have a computer, tablet, or laptop. “The final week can be a stressful time for any student, but successful completion of her study preparation plan will give her the confidence to take her final exams!” Rama highlights.
According to Rama, hard work is rewarding and nothing compares to the happiness and pride you get when you get good grades. She is confident that her success is the result of her hard work and quality education, and attributes her achievements to the support from her teachers, principal and her mother. “Everyone was very supportive. The principal and teachers were always there to help and motivate us. , encouraged me,” said Rama.
Thanks to UNRWA, Rama was able to attend catch-up lessons at the beginning of the school year and never fell behind. She also attended her UNRWA support her classes to help her prepare for her 9th grade exams. Classes were devoted to reviewing all course materials, answering student questions, and ensuring teachers addressed student concerns.
Her mother and teachers describe Rama as a diligent student, despite the likely and prolonged displacement. She is determined to work hard in her studies and succeed in realizing her dream of becoming a dentist. “Her education is hope. It will help her achieve her future goals,” Rama says.
Emphasizing the importance of providing quality and effective education in improving educational outcomes for Palestinian refugee students, UNRWA Director Amanya Michael-Eye said: I’m here. His UNRWA Grade 9 performance in Syria has improved in recent years, with an acceptance rate of 78% in 2017, 85% in 2019, 90% in 2021 and 90% in 2022. In a year he has risen to 94.3%. “We are proud of our students who continue to perform well and are proud of us despite the harsh conditions of evacuation,” he adds.
Thanks to donors such as the Kuwait Foundation, UNRWA is able to provide quality, equitable and inclusive education for Palestinian refugee children in Syria.