Half Million Gaza Children Make Delayed Return to School

First week of instruction will be devoted to psychological counseling and recreational activities to help children transition to learning, official says.

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Palestinian students sit inside their school that witnesses said was shelled by Israel during its offensive, on the first day of the new school year in the east of Gaza City. September 14, 2014.
Palestinian students sit inside their school that witnesses said was shelled by Israel during its offensive, on the first day of the new school year in the east of Gaza City. September 14, 2014. Credit: Reuters

Some half million Gaza children are making a delayed return to school after the devastating 50-day conflict that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and damaged hundreds of school buildings.

Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet says Sunday's opening - delayed two weeks - involves 230,000 first to 12th graders attending public schools, 200,000 going to United Nations-run schools and tens of thousands enrolled in private institutions.

Thabet says that unlike in previous years, the first week of instruction in government schools will be given over to providing psychological counseling and recreational activities to help the children transition to learning.

He says 26 Gaza schools were destroyed during the war, and another 232 sustained damage.

The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended August 26.

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