20.04.2011 -

UNESCO and the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser support the Iraqi education system and access to quality education in Gaza

Doha, 20 April 2011 - UNESCO and the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser (HHO) organized a follow-up meeting to discuss the progress made in the implementation of the projects supporting the rehabilitation of the education system in Iraq and access to quality education in Gaza in the presence of the Iraqi Ministers of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research from Baghdad and Kurdistan as well as the Minster of Education and Higher Education of Qatar.

Launched in the beginning of 2010, the partnership between UNESCO and the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, First Lady of Qatar and the UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, aims at supporting education in crisis-affected areas such as Iraq and the Gaza strip. In order to reinforce coordination and follow-up, UNESCO and HHO have been meeting every three months to monitor the progress made and discuss challenges and lessons learnt. H.E. Dr. Mohammed Tamim, Iraqi Minister of Education (Baghdad), H.E. Dr. Ali Al-Adeeb, Iraqi Minister Of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Baghdad) and H.E. Mr. Safeen Dizaay, Minister Of Education from Kurdistan also participated in this 6th coordination meeting in Doha. The meeting was opened by HE. Mr. Saad bin Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Qatar. He underlined the importance of this partnership in supporting Iraq, cradle of civilization, to rebuild its national identity.

The projects for Iraq focus on four areas of action: Literacy and Non-Formal Education, Curricula Development, Teacher Training and Higher Education. Despite the political and security situations hindering the projects’ implementation, UNESCO Iraq Office was able to show significant achievements in the past three months to reinforce Iraqi capacities for the development of a national literacy strategy and network, the endorsement of a common curriculum framework for both Baghdad and Kurdistan, the adoption of a strategic framework and policy statement for teacher education and training, as well as the enhancement of quality assurance mechanisms and fellowship programmes at university level.  

There are five projects being implemented by UNESCO within the framework of the Emergency Support to the Education System in Gaza program: Provision of Emergency Secondary Education Support in non-UNRWA schools, Emergency Support to Higher Education, Support for Crisis Planning and Management, Training on the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies Minimum Standards, and Promotion of Schools as Safe Zones.  

The UNESCO antennae office in Gaza successfully organized educational summer camps and supported university students to complete their studies. Additionally, school principals, district officials, and teachers in the restricted access areas are participating in training on Crisis Planning and Management and developing individualized school-based contingency plans. UNESCO also continues to train key stakeholders on monitoring, reporting and advocating for education from a human rights perspective with the aim of protecting education.  

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Mohamed Djelid, Director UNESCO Iraq Office: m.djelid(at)unesco.org

Ms. Louise Haxthausen, Director UNESCO Ramallah Office: l.haxthausen(at)unesco.org

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