Education, Occupation & Liberation Programme


The Education, Occupation & Liberation programme marks Fobzu’s 40th anniversary and is co-hosted with the University and College Union (UCU).

The series of lectures and seminars brings together Palestinian, UK and international scholars, students and practitioners to explore the challenges facing Palestinian education and its role in creating a free and flourishing Palestine. Speakers consider the struggle of Palestinian students and educators, approaches to liberation education and the contribution of Palestine to decolonising curricula in the UK.

The Education, Occupation & Liberation programme is made possible thanks to the estate of the late Sarah Hayward. 

Access to Education and Dignity for Palestinian Refugees

Christopher Gunness & Caroline Pontefract (UNRWA)

In the first of Fobzu’s Education, Occupation & Liberation events, UNRWA Chief Spokesperson Christopher Gunness, and Director of Education Dr Caroline Pontefract talk about UNRWA’s role in upholding the rights and dignity of 5 million Palestine refugees through the prism of the young people the agency serves in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

UNRWA was established in 1949 by the UN General Assembly to serve the Palestine refugees displaced during the Nakba of 1948. The agency’s mandate has been renewed repeatedly by the General Assembly pending a just and durable solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees. In January 2018 the US, UNRWA’s largest donor, announced major cuts to its funding of the agency throwing it into ‘existential crisis’. On 31st August the Trump administration officially announced an end to all US funding of UNRWA.

UNRWA’s vital role in upholding the rights and dignity of over 5 million Palestinian refugees, including its provision of education to over half a million children, is now imperilled by the US initiative.


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