UNRWA celebrates World Teachers’ Day

04 October 2012

3 October 2012
Amman, Jordan

On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day (WTD) 2012, and under the theme “Taking a Stand for Teachers,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is launching two key programmes, part of its overall education reform strategy, in its five fields of operation.

These are the “Transforming Classrooms” programme of school-based teacher development and the “Leading for the Future” programme, both part of the UNESCO/UNRWA education programme reform strategy, which have been designed to reinforce the Agency’s broader human development and humanitarian agenda. The reform is key to ensuring that UNRWA maintains and strengthens its renowned quality of education. Central to this quality are the teacher and head teacher.

“Across the Arab World, countries are striving to improve the quality of their education system through reform. Many lessons have been learned about what is important, what to focus on, and the way in which to change and improve on what we have. UNRWA’s education reform reflects these lessons with the focus it places on teachers and school leaders, who are key actors in achieving quality education”, said Dr. Caroline Pontefract, UNRWA’s director of education.

“On World Teachers’ Day, we will launch these two reform programmes and celebrate the work of our teachers by recognising their commitment to ensuring a bright future for UNRWA schoolchildren,” she added.

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.

Below is the list of activities in UNRWA fields of operation:


World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated in a central event at the Gaza Training Centre, with parallel events organized at UNRWA schools in Gaza. The main event will include a ceremony for retired and best-performing teachers. The celebration will be attended by the director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, the deputy director of the Gaza field office, the chief of education, and field office education staff. The event will take place 4 October 2012.


The Jordan field office will celebrate World Teachers’ Day by awarding best-performing teachers at the Amman Training Centre. It will be attended by UNESCO Amman Office representatives and a UNESCO representative will deliver the keynote speech. The event will be held on 8 October 2012 at 10 a.m.


World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated in the Central Lebanon Area at the Haifa School. The celebration will include an awards ceremony for retired teachers and recognise students who have won poetry and drawing prizes. The celebration will be attended by Ann Dismorr, the director of UNRWA operations in Lebanon, education specialists, retired teachers, parents, and representatives from the UN, the European Union, and non-governmental organisations. The event will be held on 4 October 2012 at 10 a.m.


World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated in the Yarmouk refugee camp on 8 October 2012 at 10 a.m.

West Bank

World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated at the Kalandia Training Centre on 8 October 2012 at 10 a.m.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

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

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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