On the 2 and 3 of September, the Annual Sector Review (ASR) took place in Ramallah, organized by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE). The Review is a yearly exercise to take stock of developments and challenges in the education sector during the past year, in order to provide guidance and recommendations for future strategic directions.
Key officials of the MoEHE and all members of the education community in Palestine took active part the event, as well as local and international civil society and development partners. In their opening remarks, both UNESCO and the Belgian Consul welcomed the new Minister of Education and Higher Education His Excellency Dr. Sabri Saidam. The Minister opened with strategic and ambitious remarks for the future, emphasizing the need to modernize the education system, most notably the reform of curriculum, teacher training, digitization, focus on scientific innovation and green energy, all of which are priorities of the education sector. His excellency emphasized that “the MOEHEe in partnership with donors, local and international partners are keen on the empowerment of teachers and teacher training in order to bring respect for the teaching profession, and promote advocacy and concentrate on student-centered learning, since students are the hub of the teaching learning process”.
The Head of UNESCO’s office in Palestine, Dr. Lodovico Folin-Calabi encouraged in his opening remarks the MoEHE to continue the education reform and the reform of the management of the Ministry, but also to come to together in a spirit of open dialogue to address the issue of education in emergencies and the ability of the sector to keep a unified response to the challenges of Education in Palestine. He also stressed Palestine’s obligations with new international human rights commitments and a new draft Education Law under way: “Such a law is much needed in Palestine and it is with great pleasure we note that this is one of the priorities in the work plan of the new Minister. We, as UNESCO and as technical advisor to the Ministry, stand ready to assist in this important task.”
The Belgian Consul and Deputy Head of Development Co-operation, Florence Duvieusart, speaking on behalf of the Joint Funding Partners (JFPs), complemented the Minister by stating that as the co-chair of the Education Sector Working Group, Belgium has been closely involved in the sector for many years and that they are looking forward to even closer cooperation in the future. She emphasized the many benchmark achievements that were made in the education sector, but also the challenges ahead. Ms. Duvieusart emphasized that the development partners remain committed to the cause of education and that “We look forward to continue to work closely with the Ministry and other stakeholders to address the priorities of Third Education Development Strategic Plan (ESPD 3) and to maintain constructive dialogue to ensure that quality education in Palestine is achieved.”
The goal of ASR was to focus on the achievements of 2014, including the M&E results in order to review policy directions and strategic choices currently underway and planned. This was done presentations and dialogue on the reformed Education Sector Working Group and the implications and opportunities of the accession of the Palestine to International treaties, as well as key updates on education in Gaza, and progress on both the 2014 ASR recommendations and the ongoing ESPD 3 . Working groups were held to discuss high priority reform tracks in greater depth, such as the draft education law, curriculum reform and management reforms. Through plenary events and collective drafting a set of recommendations were agreed upon to guide the coming year 2015-2016.
For more information on this event, please contact: Majd Beltaji, Public Information Officer of the UNESCO Ramallah Office, at m.beltaji(at)unesco.org