A Critical Analysis of Education in Palestine: Exploring the Challenges of Politicisation

Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rahl

Programme: PhD in Education

Year of Graduation :2018


A Critical Analysis of Education in Palestine: Exploring the Challenges of Politicisation


The present study investigated the impact of the socio-political conditions and challenges of the current educational system in Palestine based on Freire’s critical pedagogy theory. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods design was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Data was primarily collected using questionnaires administered to 1,705 students, 623 teachers, and 611 guardians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from four political leaders and four educational leaders. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis tests were performed using SPSS while thematic analysis of qualitative data was conducted using NVivo. The study found that complex and dynamic socio-political conditions in Palestine shaped education negatively with the three main factors currently impacting education in Palestine being the Israeli occupation, international governments, and the Palestinian political parties. The study concluded that the nearly 70-year Israeli occupation led to a highly politicised Palestinian society. Specifically, politicisation has had a crippling effect on the Palestinian educational system in terms of curriculum, policies, and operations. The study underlined the role of the Palestinian political and educational leaders as being crucial in mitigating the negative effects. The efforts of political and educational leaders in unifying the nation and exploring independent sources of funding helped to ensure the establishment of a depoliticised national educational system through a neutral administering body. Finally, the study confirmed that despite all the critical challenges, the   Palestinian people were able to achieve tangible success and growth in the field of education.

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