Palestinian universities in the Gaza Strip are suffering from a severe financial crisis that threatens the continuity of their work next year, academics and university administrators said on Thursday.
On the sidelines of a meeting of officials of three universities (Islamic University, Al-Azhar University – Gaza, University College of Applied Sciences) with journalists, the academics and university administrators attributed the financial crisis to the decrease in students’ enrolment rate, by up to 30% at present.
First picture, the Islamic University of Gaza in 2014, after it was bombed by Israel
Second picture, the Islamic University of Gaza nowadays pic.twitter.com/htGi05jxFJ
— Days of Palestine (@DaysofPalestine) July 8, 2017
Yahya Al-Sarraj, a member of the joint committee of solving the universities’ crisis in Gaza, said that the universities are suffering from a significant financial crisis.
“This crisis has resulted in the universities’ inability to pay the salaries of teachers, as the dues of university workers reach between $28-35 million.”
He explained that the debts that students owe to the universities reached this year between 28 and 35 million dollars.
Across Gaza, the enclave of 2 million Palestinians, daily life is unraveling amid a financial crisis. Some predict a total collapse. https://t.co/FgMyo08g5m
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 12, 2018
Al-Sarraj expressed fears that universities will not be able to accept students next year because of the financial crisis.
Also, the students’ reluctance to enroll in universities threatens society with new social crises, which may lead to unexpected disasters, as he put it.
The Education Ministry in Gaza has reported that 13 schools have been seriously damaged from the Israeli rockets. The Ministry have said It is a violation of international law to damage basic infrastructure in all areas. pic.twitter.com/Ol0n2GVvN4
— Women For Palestine (@WomenForPal) May 9, 2019
Al-Sarraj called on the donor parties and Palestinian officials to “realize the seriousness and consequences of the situation the universities are facing and to make efforts to save the next academic year.”
He also called for the need to provide “facilitation loans for students so that the student pays a small amount per month to be able to enroll in the university.”
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)