UNRWA Launches Teacher Policy to further Professionalize Its Teaching Force

05 February 2014
UNRWA Launches Teacher Policy to further Professionalize Its Teaching Force


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has launched its Teacher Policy, aimed at bolstering the Agency’s 22,800 teachers and other education staff through training and other career development.  One of the key objectives of the initiative is to better motivate and professionally support teachers. "UNRWA sees well-trained and motivated teachers as the most powerful force for an equitable, quality education system", said UNRWA Director of Education Dr. Caroline Pontefract.

The development of the policy took several years in order to ensure that it would be professionally valuable in achieving quality education, but also financially feasible, logistically manageable and politically acceptable. Dr. Pontefract explained: "Throughout the policy-development process, we faced difficult choices relating to achieving a meaningful balance between these four parameters. However, a common commitment to provide quality education to all learners, and the will to invest in UNRWA teachers, enabled us to overcome many obstacles."

The UNRWA Teacher Policy seeks to further professionalize the Agency's teaching force and to maximize its investment in teachers towards improved student learning.  It will achieve this not just by setting parameters for recruitment and initial training and emphasizing professional development of teachers through in-service programmes, but also through stronger day-to-day support systems. As Dr. Pontefract highlighted: "The policy represents a key strand of the overall UNRWA education reform and will help to motivate and further capacitate teachers, through career-progression opportunities and the establishment of new structures which will facilitate school quality assurance, student ongoing assessment and the overall coordination of professional development." 

For more information on the policy, please click here: UNRWA Teacher Policy

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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