Amid all the political uncertainty and under extremely abnormal circumstances, Palestinian high school students both in the Gaza Strip and West Bank are taking their final high school tests known as Tawjihi.
I remember attending my Tawjihi tests back in 2007. The time couldn’t have been worse as the political turmoil in Gaza and the internal political fighting between the two largest political parties — Hamas and Fatah — was just starting to spill over onto the streets. Hamas had been in power less than a year, and the grave impact of Israel’s hermetic blockade of Gaza was ubiquitous as it affected almost every aspect of Palestinian life including that of high school students.
Seven years on, things have not changed — except perhaps for the worse. High school students still have to deal with a great many challenges due to the abnormal situation they are caught up in, in addition to the issue of electricity outages.
Yousef Aql, 17, is a Palestinian high school student who lives in the Jabaliya refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip. His family of 12, he says, is doing everything it can to provide a calm and conducive environment to help him pass his tests successfully. The biggest challenge Aql has to deal with as a high school student in Gaza is electricity cuts. Students are extremely restricted by the availability of electricity when they want to study, and therefore are not free to study when they would like to. more