Pupils struggle to learn at home in Gaza

Ola Mousa Electronic Intifada 23/04/2020

Raya Nofal finds it hard to attend classes over the internet. “I don’t have a tablet,” the 11-year-old said. “My mother gives me her phone. But sometimes she gets a call and that interrupts our lessons. At other times, I can’t focus because the internet is slow.” Raya’s experience is shared by numerous pupils in Gaza. Schools have been closed since March in an attempt to halt the spread of the new coronavirus. While teachers have been giving lessons online, participating in them has been difficult for children who do not have adequate equipment. As Raya’s father has been unemployed for the past two years, her family cannot afford to buy her a computer or other electronic device suitable for e-learning. The problems have been compounded by frequent power cuts in Gaza. Aya and Nisreen Saad are aged 10 and 15. Most mornings they are unable to follow classes on the internet as there is no electricity available. Furthermore, they do not have their own phones, tablets or computers. Both have to use their mother’s mobile phone . .  Israel prevents Gaza from developing a third-generation mobile phone network. It is, therefore, rare for people in Gaza to have good quality internet access on their mobile phones. . . .

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