05.10.2012 - UNESCO Office in Ramallah

Taking a Stand for Teachers


Ramallah, Thursday October 4, 2012m - On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2012, and under the theme “Taking a Stand for Teachers,” H.E. Palestinian Minister of Education Lamis Alami, Representative of UNESCO to the Palestinian Authority Mr. Derek Elias, Head of Section Social Affairs at the European Union Ms. Olga Baus Gibert, and Secretary General for Teachers’ Union Mr. Mohammad Sowwan, opened the ceremony celebrating the World Teachers’ Day in Al-Bireh.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education announced the official adoption of professional standards for Teachers and New Teachers’ Code of Conduct in the ceremony.

"The decline of teachers' status in some societies doesn't reflect a decline in the teachers' roles but a decline in the value system. We are all responsible for improving the status of the teaching profession”, said H.E. Palestinian Minister of Education Ms. Lamis Alami , "We are eager to carry out quality programs for our teachers. This is the least that can be done because the quality of education cannot be improved without paying specific attention to improving the status of teachers H.E. added.

World Teachers’ Day was declared by UNESCO and held annually on 5 October since 1994, commemorating the anniversary of the signing in 1966 of the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

“The world over, governments are urged to provide teachers with access to teacher training opportunities and continued professional development, based on appropriate qualifications. Attracting committed and a diverse teacher requires environments that value professional autonomy and equality”, said the Representative of UNESCO to the Palestinian Authority Mr. Derek Elias at the ceremony.

This year’s celebration is part of the Quality system for Quality Teachers project, which is funded by the European Union and carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education through the Commission for Developing the Teaching Profession.

“A teacher can only be as effective as the support that he or she gets. Support for teachers starts at the very beginning of their careers, and continues all through their active employment”. Said Head of Section Social Affairs at the European Union Ms. Olga Baus Gibert,

The celebration gathered around 200 teachers and educationalists connected with their colleagues in Gaza via video conference. The teachers discussed the challenges facing the teaching profession and the role played by teachers to achieve quality education

During the ceremony Chief Field Education program for UNRWA in West Bank Mr. Muhannad Beidas announced the launching of two key programmes, part of UNRWA’s overall education reform strategy, in its five fields of operation. The two programmes are “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.

During the ceremony the Assistant Deputy Minister for Planning and Development Mr. Basri Saleh presented the progress in the implementation of the teacher education strategy

The event also included the screening of the film “Taking a Stand for Teachers”, teachers talking about their experiences and challenges facing them in their career.

On Friday October 5th, take a moment to thank a teacher you know for the important work they do for all of us.



 Palestinian Ministry of Education: Abdelhakim Abou Jamous, 0599933622, aboujamoose(at)hotmail.com.

 UNESCO: Majd Beltaji, +972 (0) 59 825 7020, m.beltaji(at)unesco.org


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