- Title: Home learning in Gaza hindered by blackouts and poverty
- Date: 30th September 2020
- Summary: HUSSEIN LOOKING ON VARIOUS OF HUSSEIN DURING ONLINE LESSON
- Embargoed: 14th October 2020 11:38
- Keywords: COVID-19 Gaza Schooling children coronavirus education electricity
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA004CXVS579
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Routine blackouts and shaky internet service have made remote learning in the Gaza Strip a challenge for students during the coronavirus pandemic.
With schools closed across the Palestinian enclave since a lockdown in August, hundreds of thousands of students have been stuck at home and learning has moved online.
In Gaza, where poverty is rampant and infrastructure lacking, siblings are often left to argue over precious screen time during the hours when the power is on.
On average, Gazans in the Hamas Islamist-run territory get eight hours of electricity a day from its lone generating plant and Israeli power lines. Most families are dependent on foreign aid and struggle to pay for internet or buy extra computers or phones.
"We have to wait until electricity is back so we can recharge the phones," said 10th grader Raseel Hussein. "Work is sent over the internet and we have to download it, and that depends on how weak or strong the signal is."
Hamas declared a lockdown on August 24 after the first cases of coronavirus were reported outside of quarantine facilities for people entering Gaza. Since then there have been 2,800 cases and 20 people died.
Gaza is home to two million Palestinians in cities, towns and refugee camps squeezed within an area of 360 square km (139 square miles), with its borders sealed off by neighbouring Israel and Egypt.
The lockdown has been partially eased but schools, mosques, and other public facilities remain closed. A nightly curfew is in effect.
Moatasem Al-Minawai, an official with Gaza's education ministry, said challenges will continue even after schools reopen. With limitations on classroom attendance, students will be in school only part-time.
(Production: Arafat Barbakh, Mohammed Shana, Nihad Khalil, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Footage contains computer game or software screenshots. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing this clip.