12 June 2013
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has launched a teacher toolkit for Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance (HRCRT) education in Amman this week.
UNRWA has been engaged in the teaching of human rights for more than a decade. Education for HRCRT empowers Palestine refugees, encouraging them to enjoy and exercise their rights, uphold the rights of others, be proud of their Palestinian identity, and contribute to their society in a positive way.
The Toolkit is a practical tool which provides a general guide on human rights, planning tools for its integration at schools, and 40 activities that help to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of students towards a culture of human rights.
“The Toolkit will improve UNRWA’s approach to human rights education, drawing on good practices from around the world, and building on UNRWA’s experience in teaching human rights,” said UNRWA’s Director of Education Dr. Caroline Pontefract, adding: "The importance of this training cannot be underestimated as it will serve to enable every UNRWA teacher to play a crucial role in strengthening a culture of human rights in UNRWA schools and institutions that serve 491,000 Palestine refugee students.
Paul McAdams, the International Human Rights Education Expert who has played a key role in the development of the toolkit said: “It is meant to serve as both an inspiration and a practical guide for UNRWA teachers to strengthen and sustain a culture of human rights in their classrooms and schools.”
The toolkit was developed in a fully participatory manner and then improved along the pre-testing feedback in West Bank and Gaza schools. “The teachers really enjoyed the child-centred, participatory approach of the toolkit. We noticed that students were learning while having fun", said HRCRT Programme Coordinator Ms. Ozlem Eskiocak.
One UNRWA teacher from Nablus observed that through the suggested activities in the tool kit, even shy students were able to participate in the classroom: “I am happy that the Toolkit allows all students, not only the outspoken ones, to participate and be engaged.”
For more information about UNRWA HRCRT Programme:
HRCRT policy (English - Arabic)
HRCRT policy short version (English - Arabic)
HRCRT fact sheet (English - Arabic)
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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 five 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$ 65 million.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724