More than one million Palestinian students started the academic year in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Almost quarter of a million attend government schools, while just over 200,000 go to schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
A number of new schools have been built by the Ministry of Education in the Gaza Strip, with some also being built by UNRWA. Working with local and international NGOs, the authorities have been able to solve the problem of supplying fresh drinking water for students while they are in school.
Changes to the curriculum in Gaza include the inclusion of Shari'ah Studies in the secondary stage, as well as French and Hebrew.
Handing out new textbooks to students, Gaza's Ministry of Education in Gaza confirmed that it has dubbed 2013/13 as "the year of education". Officials are confident that more developments in the sector will lead to better academic results.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad