Five Christian schools are set to be closed down in Gaza as a result of a decision taken by the Hamas government. The decision is to ban coeducational institutions as a reflection of an increasing conservative Islamic value system. While the law does not specifically target Christians the only coeducational schools are the two Catholic and three Christian schools. The two Catholic schools would be forced to shut down, ending their service to more than 1,000 students.
By Judith Sudilovsky
06/05/2013 Jerusalem (St. Louis Review) – Five schools in Gaza—two Catholic and three Christian—face closure if the Hamas government follows through on an order forbidding coeducational institutions, said the director general of Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine and Israel.
“This will be a big problem,” Father Faysal Hijazin told Catholic News Service by telephone June 3. “We hope they will not go through with it, but if they do, we will be in big trouble. We don’t have the space and we don’t have the money to divide our schools.”
In addition to finding additional space, he said, the schools face having to hire more teachers. Male and female teachers would not be allowed to teach classes of the opposite sex beyond the fourth grade under Islamic law.
“We will never accept this even if we have to close the schools,” Father Hijazin said.