5 October 2011
UNRWA officially launched its education reform strategy for 2011 to 2015 today, World Teachers’ Day, under the patronage of Ms Margot Ellis, UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General.
The reform will improve the quality of learning for Palestine refugee students in UNRWA’s 700 schools and allow the Agency to meet the evolving demands of an education system for the 21st century. The strategy focuses on teacher development, curriculum and student assessment, inclusive education, and technical and vocational training.
The strategy is underscored by a forward-looking vision for UNRWA education which aspires to develop the “full potential of Palestine refugees to enable them to be confident, innovative, questioning, thoughtful, tolerant and open minded, upholding human values and tolerance, proud of their Palestinian identity and contributing positively to the development of their society and the global community.”
More than 100 educationalists, including UNRWA staff and the Agency’s partners, attended a celebration held at UNRWA headquarters in Amman. In a speech, Ms Ellis focused on the importance of World Teachers’ Day in fostering awareness, understanding and appreciation for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. She also highlighted the great role that UNRWA teachers play in educating Palestine refugee schoolchildren.
Dr Caroline Pontefract, the director of education, focused on what the reform is about and how it will contribute to better quality education for Palestine refugee children.
The event also hosted a photography and art exhibition showing education activities across all UNRWA’s fields of operation.
Education is UNRWA’s largest programme, accounting for more than half of the Agency’s regular budget. The Agency operates one of the largest school systems in the Middle East, providing half a million Palestine refugee children with free-of-charge basic education every day.
United Nations World Teachers‘ Day, held annually on 5 October, celebrates the role that teachers worldwide play in providing quality education at all levels. It aims to mobilise support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met. The 2011 worldwide events focused on the theme "Teachers for Gender Equality”.
Parallel events launching the strategy and celebrating World Teachers’ Day also took place in UNRWA’s five fields of operations: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
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