Throughout the course, Education and Conflict, we have discussed time and time again the importance of schools as safe zones in conflict stricken areas and often wondered what education in schools look like in a state with ongoing violence. Begging the question, what does an academic year look like where this an outbreak of war? Are schools really safe?
It is important to note that Under international humanitarian law, both schools and hospitals are protected civilian objects. Therefore, according to UN Security Council, "Attacks on schools and hospitals during conflict is one of the six grave violations" and has been added as triggers for inclusion on the list of the Secretary-General of parties to conflict committing grave violations against children in armed conflict.
Yet, Israel is in blatantly bombing schools - a supposed safe zone in the state of Palestine.Recently this month, Israeli airstrikes attacked a school run by United Nations' Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza's Al-Maghazi refugee camp. This attack killed 6 people and displaced hundred others. Unfrotunately answering the question, schools are in fact not safe zones for those helplessly seeking refuge.
Our question of what happens to student's education during a war can be adressed by the fact that The Ministry of Education in Gaza has officially announced the end of the 2023/2024 academic year. It is crucial to realize that this is because all concerned students are announced dead owing to the war, or better put, owing to the genocide.
Children are the most vulnerable members of any society, and targeting them with bombs and violence is a grave injustice. Schools, on the other hand, are meant to be safe havens for learning and growth. When these places become the battlegrounds, innocent lives are shattered, dreams are destroyed, and the future is robbed. The ongoing war in Palestine is one grave example.