[Boycott - Academic]
Israeli construction ban forces Yatta children to learn in tents
Ma'an News Agency (maannews.net)
23 February 2010
Hebron Ė Ma'anĖ A collection of Bedouin settlements in Area C southeast of Yatta has tried for years to obtain the necessary permissions for the construction of small school building for some 40 students who until now have been schooled in a tent.
The Elementary School of Al-Masafir - a tent
The south Hebron hills were settled by several Bedouin communities in 1948 when they were expelled from their traditional grazing lands. They largely maintain a Bedouin lifestyle, but are confined to small areas in the hills.
As the population of the Bedouin communities grew, families became increasingly adamant that their children receive schooling under the Palestinian system.
To help residents, in 2009 the joint service council in Yatta provided them with three tents and school desks to be used as temporary classrooms.
The tents, which resemble many of the homes for Bedouin families, differ only because of the Palestinian Authority sign demarcating the building as the Elementary School of Al-Masafir.
School Principal Khadr Al-Umour said the school has four split-grade elementary classrooms housing forty students, both boys and girls. There are only three teachers for the 40 students, including Al-Umour.
A school van used to pick up students along the dirt road that runs through the area, but was confiscated by Israeli officials, Al-Umour said, for unknown reasons. The school has since rented a new van, but in the interim month, students had to walk up to eight kilometers to reach the tent-school.
Al-Umour said he was concerned that the new van would also be confiscated.
"The tents are inadequate ... they do not protect students from the elements in the summer or the winter. The rain leaks in and the summer heat is unbearable."
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