23.11.2017 - UNESCO Office in Ramallah

Education Stakeholders in Palestine gather for the first time in Gaza City for the Education Sector Working Group Meeting

Gaza City – On 22 November 2017, the Education Sector Working Group (ESWG) met, for the first time since its establishment within the Local Aid Coordination Mechanism (LACS), in Gaza, after the recent and on-going political reconciliation process. The meeting in Gaza brought together all main education stakeholders in Palestine, to take stock of developments in the education sector since the last meeting in September, but also and mainly to address pressing needs of Education in Gaza for future action by all partners involved.

In his welcoming remarks, his Excellency the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam mentioned that today we are writing a new chapter in history and further emphasized that this meeting demonstrates the interest of the Ministry and its international partners in the children of Palestine and its students, especially in Gaza. His Excellency pointed out that this meeting reflects the joint efforts between the Ministry of Education and the education stakeholders to further focus on quality education.

The UNESCO Representative to Palestine, Dr. Lodovico Folin Calabi, expressed his hopes that the political reconciliation will also lead to overall improvement of Education in Gaza, which can only start after a thorough assessment of the state of quality and inclusive education, its main challenges, needs and priorities. He also said that we should join forces and work together for a driving, transformative and effective teaching and learning environment for all: students and families of Gaza expect and deserve no less.

Ms. Paula Malan, Head of Development Cooperation of the Representative Office of Finland, speaking as the co-chair and on behalf of the Joint Financing Partners emphasized the work ahead in Gaza and the accomplishments made so far. She further thanked the international partners, particularly UN agencies such as UNRWA, UNICEF and UNESCO who, with their continuous presence in Gaza, have provided essential technical assistance and support to maintain the quality of education.

During the event, participants identified the lack of integration of children with disabilities in the education system, the shortage of psychosocial counselors, the dropout rate in basic education, the shortage of pre-school classrooms, including shortage of schools (especially secondary level) and the integration of TVET in grade 7 to 9 as the main priorities of the MoEHE in the Gaza Strip.

For more information on UNESCO’s activities in Palestine, please follow us on Facebook : Unesco Ramallah Office

For more information on this event, please contact: Majd Beltaji, Public Information Officer of the UNESCO Ramallah Office, at m.beltaji(at)unesco.org 

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