UNESCO and Japan Sign a New Partnership Agreement for the Development of Teachers and Students’ Skills in STEAM and Coding

On 16 February 2022, the Government of Japan and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) signed an Arrangement Letter at the Representative Office of Japan to Palestine, based in Ramallah, the State of Palestine, to support a UNESCO-led project on “Improving Student Skills for Innovation and Sustainable Development through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and Coding in Palestinian Schools”. The project is aligned with the priorities of the Government’s National Policy Agenda for the State of Palestine and the priorities of the Ministry of Education to provide quality education for all.  
UNESCO believes that STEAM and coding have a powerful role to play in helping students achieve their highest potential and talents because they integrate core contents to enhance students' understanding of the material. It will build on the successful results of the CapED project on Artificial Intelligence and Coding, through which 500 students were reached in both West Bank and Gaza during 2021. The overall objective of the new project, supported by Japan, is to further empower teachers and students, especially girls, with skills for innovation and sustainable development through STEAM and coding in primary and secondary education. In addition, it is envisaged to increase the number of coding clubs in public schools in Palestine.  
In her remarks, Ms. Noha Bawazir, UNESCO Head of Office and UNESCO Representative, while expressing deep gratitude to the Government of Japan for the new significant contribution, stated: “With COVID-19 introducing a new set of challenges to the educational system across the world and to the Palestinian schools in particular, it is anticipated that this project will provide an opportunity to improve the educational process in Palestine through proven means of equipping Palestinian youth with digital, soft, and technical skills demanded by the labour market”.  
For his remarks, Mr. MAGOSHI Masayuki, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs / Representative of Japan to Palestine stated: “We are impressed by the high literacy rate in Palestine that paints a positive picture of its education system. However, we believe the Palestinian education system is still in the middle of the path to promote innovation for the younger generation. To clear the way for this end, Japan has committed to providing a new package of assistance through UNESCO to help Palestinian youth excel skills for innovation and sustainable development as well as expand and promote digital learning”. 
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, sciences and culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. As a member of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Palestine, UNESCO contributes to the overall efforts of the UN system to ensure that its work is aligned with the Palestinian Authority's National Policy Agenda.  
Since the Oslo Accords, Japan has been committed to assisting the Palestinians with a view to creating a favorable environment for the achievement of peace in the Middle East and has so far provided assistance that exceeds 2.1 billion US dollars since 1993. Japan has continued support for the Palestinians' right of self-determination, and their desire to establish a state. Japan has been working to mitigate the hardships and difficulties faced by the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and to support their economic development. Japan is also determined to contribute to the capacity and institution building that is required to build a viable Palestinian state.