Letter to Teachers from Acting UNRWA Director of Education on World Teachers' Day

05 October 2022
Acting Director of Education Ms. Marta Lorenzo with teacher Safa Obied© 2022 UNRWA Photo

Dear Education Colleagues,


Today, I am writing to you, on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day, to say a very big thank you to all UNRWA teachers and to education staff irrespective of where they are.

Over the past two and a half years, it has been more evident than ever that no education system can succeed without teachers. Your role goes beyond making our students succeed academically. You have been there in times of peace and emergency as well, supporting them academically and psychologically. Within the post-COVID 19 context, I know how hard you are working to provide every Palestine refugee child with access to an inclusive and equitable quality education, bringing back all students to a safe and stimulating learning environment. I am grateful to you, and I cannot thank you enough for the excellent work you have done!

We want to leave behind the huge impact of the global pandemic of COVID-19, which has affected so many lives including those of teachers and students. However, it has made us aware of how important it is to continue adjusting to cope with the 21st century challenges and volatile needs in education. Let me reassure you that UNRWA strives to respond to its students’ needs by introducing digitization and modernization. As you may know, in April 2021 we launched the UNRWA Information and Communications Technology in Education (ICT4E) Strategy to shift towards digitalization and improved accessibility and connectivity for all students.

In the vision statement of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, during the Transforming Education Summit held this September, he emphasized the importance of teachers “as the backbone of all good education systems”.  Indeed, the UN theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day is “The transformation of education begins with teachers”. This theme emphasizes the central role of teachers in the delivery of an inclusive and equitable quality education to children and youth, emphasizing their valuable contributions towards transforming education and the support and empowerment they need to innovate and transform teaching.

At the Summit, Safa’ Obeid, an UNRWA teacher selected as the Earth Prize Educator of the Year, said, “We have developed alternatives to help children and youth acquire skills that make a difference in their lives as global citizens. This includes developing students’ knowledge about the climate and the environment”.

Let me take this opportunity on behalf of all UNRWA colleagues to recognize your significant role to continue responding to the ever changing and emerging demands and for creating an environment in which our children and youth can learn without discrimination and violence.

So, we celebrate your achievements, commitment, and creativity. UNRWA says a big thank you and assures you of continued support to all teachers out there.

Today is your day as UNRWA teachers. I wish you a Happy World Teachers’ Day!

Marta Lorenzo

Acting/Director of Education

UNRWA HQ (Amman)

Background Information: 

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations, namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. Thousands of Palestine refugees who lost both their homes and livelihood because of the 1948 conflict have remained displaced and in need of significant support for over seventy years. UNRWA helps them achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. 

For more information, please contact:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140
Juliette Touma
UNRWA Director of Communications
+972 54240 2753