60 years of education for Palestine refugees: UNESCO and UNRWA cooperation
This side event organized during UNESCO General Conference will present the UNRWA/UNESCO Education programme implemented for Palestine refugees.
UNESCO has been supporting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) since 1950. It played a key role in establishing an education programme for Palestine Refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza and Syria.
UNRWA now operates one of the largest school systems in the Middle East, providing half a million Palestine refugee children with free-of-charge basic education every day. Currently the UNESCO supported UNRWA Education Programme is implementing a major reform strategy. This reform takes a systemic approach to improving the quality of learning for Palestine refugee students in UNRWA’s 700 schools to better meet the evolving demands of an education system for the 21st century. Through the development of agency wide education policies, strategies and innovative teacher capacity development programmes for the 20,000 teachers the UNESCO-UNRWA programme is also contributing to the regional and global discourse on educational transformation. Alongside the agency wide reform the UNESCO-UNRWA education programme is playing a key role in helping address the needs of children impacted by the conflict in Syria through emergency education provision.
Dr. Caroline Pontefract, UNESCO's Director of Education in UNRWA will give an overview of the achievements and challenges of the UNESCO-UNRWA education programme.