Teacher Education in Palestine
The MoEHE identified teacher training as a central priority of its reform agenda towards quality education. UNESCO has been the first technical agency who initiated support to the MoEHE in this key area of teacher reform. From late 2006 and with support from the Government of Norway, UNESCO provided technical assistance for the development of the National Teacher Education Strategy (TES). Subsequently the strategy was supported in its implementation through a technical assistance programme funded by the European Union “Quality Systems for Quality Teachers”.
During the past years, UNESCO and the MoEHE have worked jointly to strengthen institutional capacity for the management of the teacher education system (for pre-service, in-service and career development); to improve the status and motivation of the teachers; and to enhance relevance and coherence of teacher training and professional development. UNESCO provided specific technical assistance and support to the Commission for Developing the Teaching Profession (CDTP). This joint cooperation led to major achievements to improve the professionalization, status and motivation of teachers including the development of a set of teaching standards (for teachers, new teachers and school principals), a code of conduct, a professional licensing scheme, a qualifications framework for in-service courses and a research on teachers’ working conditions, motivation and retention. Furthermore, 23 PhDs students benefited from scholarships to study in Jordan and Egypt. Nineteen students have defended their thesis and are now back in Palestine to support their respective institutions, the MoEHE or Universities.
The first Palestinian Conference on “Quality Teachers for Quality Education” took place in February 2013, organized by the Ministry of Education in partnership with UNESCO and with the support of the European Union. With more than 600 participants in the West Bank and Gaza, the conference explored the relationship between the teacher and the profession in an effort to enhance innovation, reflection and leadership. It also highlighted future challenges based on the local and international experiences and promoted collaborative excellence between academicians and professionals with cross-disciplinary interests re-lated to teacher education.