UNRWA launches education reform strategy, celebrates World Teachers’ Day

05 October 2011

5 October 2011
Syria

To the rhythm of Palestinian songs, the UNRWA education programme in Syria launched the education reform strategy at al-Mansoura school in Yarmouk today. The strategy is being launched simultaneously across the UNRWA areas of operation in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza.

The launch of the reform strategy coincides with the education programme’s celebration of World Teachers’ Day and is part of the UNRWA organizational development process. It aims at establishing a strong enabling environment, whereby schools and teachers receive appropriate and timely professional and administrative support. It will also enhance the quality of the delivery of education to Palestinian refugee students and will be in line both with UNRWA’s commitment to the human development of Palestine refugees and with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

A large number of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA teaching staff, and UNICEF representatives attended the ceremony, with speeches by the deputy director of UNRWA, the chief of UNRWA’s education programme, and Mr Ali Mustafa, the Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees.

Speeches highlighted UNRWA’s commitment to ensure that generations of young people have the chance to build a future for themselves and their communities through education. They also paid tribute to the dedication of UNRWA teachers and thanked the Syrian government and other UNRWA partners, including UNICEF, for their strong and continued support to UNRWA’s programmes and Palestinian refugees.

Main features of the day included a presentation about the new strategy and award ceremonies in honour of high achievers, outstanding schools, and teaching staff approaching retirement.

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Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 70.5 million.

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