Large numbers of students in Gaza's UN-run schools fail math, Arabic tests

October 5, 2007 02:24

Large numbers of students in UN-run schools in Gaza have flunked achievement tests in math and Arabic, says the agency that runs them, attributing the poor showing to violence, overcrowding and poverty. More than two-thirds of students in grades four through nine failed math, and more than one-third did poorly in Arabic, said the UN Relief and Works Agency, which runs schools for more than half a million children of Palestinian refugees across the Arab world. Ninety percent of Gaza sixth-graders failed the math test, UNRWA said Thursday. In contrast, Palestinian students at UN schools in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are doing better than their counterparts in government schools, indicating that a stable environment is key to learning, UNRWA said. The UN agency said it will try to improve results in Gaza by hiring 1,500 classroom assistants, decreasing class sizes to 30 students, adding more classes in Arabic and math, and building a teachers' training college.

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