The Palestinian Ministry of Culture and Education in Ramallah has announced that it is suspending ties with UNWRA, the relief and work agency of the UN, until the organization "corrects its ways" with regard to planned changes in the curriculum of Palestinian UNRWA schools.
The ministry claimed in the announcement that “altering the Palestinian curriculum is a blatant violation of the laws of the host country. Any alterations intended to satisfy any party will be considered treason to the Palestinian narrative and rights of Palestinian people living under occupation and fighting to preserve their identity and national struggle.”
Minister of Education Sabri Saidam said that his ministry will not succumb to anyone or accept something considered a humiliation to the Palestinian people, their history and struggle.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa also reported that on March 24th the ministry of culture and higher education warned UNRWA not to make changes in the Palestinian curriculum.
The newspaper "Palestine" reported that the chief headquarters of UNRWA in Amman sent a textbook to the regional branch in the Gaza strip containing details of changes in schoolbooks being used in UNRWA schools.
The first level of changes refer to the subjects of Islamic education, math, nationalism and the Arab language being taught from grade 1 through 4, as well as in intermediary school. According to the report, UNRWA is trying to effect changes in the chapters which deal with "violence" (meaning the struggle against Israel) and "gender" referring to the mixing of mails and females. The textbooks also wish to omit mention of political issues which are connected to Palestinian fundamentals.