Friday, 18 April 2014

Tear Gas

Week 4. At the start of the week our session at Abu Dis Boys school was cancelled. The school had been tear gassed by Israeli soldiers. Apparently this is not a rare occurrence here, the school strongly resembles a prison due to a combination of security needs and lack of funding. This means there is nowhere for kids to escape when the air turns to poison. About 4% of the Abu dis boys are currently incarcerated in Israeli jails. Human rights violations are commonplace in these overcrowded underdungeons. Physical and mental torture, sometimes resulting In death, is utilised to punish the prisoners and coerce confessions. Stories are told of prisoners being beaten to death or having their families brought in, so their screams can be heard.The boys are there for petty crimes such as throwing stones at heavily armed soldiers. 

In an area rife with complex social and economic problems including the occupation I would argue a child's access to a decent education is more vital than back in the UK. How would you feel if your son's education was being routinely hampered by soldiers? This generations' education is a corner stone in the future peace of the region and if the soldiers here are working for peace they would also be working to protect a child's right to education.

The teachers are keen to improve the school however it is massively underfunded and evidence of this can be seen everywhere. Classrooms are somewhat bare and supplies are minimal if even available. This is the equivalent of working class but with none of the luxuries working class people in England generally receive, like stationary, uniforms and the opportunity of freedom. We've met boys who have come through this school and are now adults. None of them like the school, nor do they have positive things to say about the reputation of the school. It seems painfully obvious that they have come to realise that they could've had more. They could've worked harder. Their education could've been better if the occupation had not drained their land of opportunity. This is the most they are given, when we live in a world where people can buy islands, the young men of Abu Dis must find their own way.

No comments:

Post a Comment