DOROTHY SHEA, acting principal officer at the US Consulate in Jerusalem, speaks at the school’s inauguration yesterday..
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Equipped with rooftop solar panels and reusable wastewater systems, the first Palestinian green school is set to open its doors to students in two weeks.
The $1.3 million Aqqaba Secondary Girls’ School, financed by USAID, will provide a new learning environment for 130 pupils in the northeastern West Bank’s Tubas Governorate.
Representatives from the US government, the Palestinian Authority and the Maryland- based Global Communities development organization joined local residents in Tubas on Thursday to inaugurate the new building.
The school will help reduce overcrowding faced by students in the region, advance women’s education and raise awareness about the advantages of green building, according to a statement from USAID.
By integrating sustainable features into the building’s construction, such as energy-saving solar panels and water recycling mechanisms, the project has “set a new standard for environmentally sound design in the West Bank,” the statement said.
In addition to its green features, the school will offer students a library, computer labs, science labs and increased safety.
“We know that when women succeed, societies flourish,” said Dorothy Shea, acting principal officer at the US Consulate in Jerusalem. “By inaugurating the Aqqaba Secondary Girls’ School here today, we are again showing our commitment to promoting girls’ education.”
Through USAID, the US government has provided more than $4.9 billion in developmental assistance to Palestinian developmental projects in the past 22 years. Since 2000, USAID has built 3,106 classrooms and renovated 1,255 others – housing 200,000 students, the organization said.