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UNESCO and the Ministry of Education organize a major conference towards developing the Palestinian educational system 29-30 June 2021 Ramallah

UNESCO Ramallah Office and the Ministry of Education jointly organized a conference using a hybrid modality of on-line and in-person participation over two consecutive days. The conference entitled "Development of the Palestinian Educational System: Achievements, Entitlements, and Perspectives" gathered on the 1st day some 200 online participants with representatives from ministries, civil society organizations, and educational stakeholders. The conference presented the realities facing the Palestinian educational system; policies associated with it and offered regional and international approaches to foresee the ability of the system to respond to new and existing challenges. The Conference allowed for national, regional and international experiences to be shared and discussed.

Palestinian Minister of Education, Prof. Marwan Awartani, spoke about the most prominent current premises of development, and the aspects of the educational reform process based on inclusion and cohesion, responding to the nature of changes and taking inspiration from experiences of the educational system itself.

For his part, Jordanian Minister of Education, Prof. Mohammad Khair Abu Qudais, underlined the role of education as a primary cornerstone for building societies, pointing out the components of the education reform in Jordan, with its bottom-up approach, targeting students all the way to the policy-level.

 

On his end, Mr. Borhene Chakroun, Director of Policies Division at UNESCO-HQ, reinforced UNESCO's beliefs and constant desire to improve Palestinian education and improve its outputs, focusing on best practices, governance, educational qualities, and taking advantage from the distance education experience and other effects of the pandemic.

 

A regional and international approach paper on the experience of the Lebanese Ministry of Education in governance was presented by the Director-General of Education in Lebanon, Dr. Fadi Yarak, and a national experience presented by the head of the education program at the UNRWA, Muawiyah Omar.

 

In her closing remarks, Ms. Noha Bawazir, the Head of UNESCO Ramallah Office, stated how different inputs including the “economic, political and social context, different systems, learners, school and classroom settings and outcomes” ensure a systemic approach towards Quality Education. Ms. Bawazir asserted the importance of mainstreaming “the skills for work and life, including critical and innovative thinking, perseverance, tolerance, teamwork and media information literacy” in the Palestinian education system.

 

The conference was also an opportunity for the attendees to discuss the Policy papers prepared by UNESCO in support to the Ministry’s reform process. As a way forward, it is expected that the policy papers and recommendation will be finalized, based on feedback collected from the conference, and the outcomes be translated into clear, operational and time-bound Action plans that would be embedded into the reform strategy launched by the Ministry of Education.