Building peace in the minds of men and women

Quality Education for Refugee Children


©UNRWA/Rola Ayoub

School Principal, Rola Ayoub, says it gives her a lot of job satisfaction to know that she is helping to build the next generation of responsible adults at Nablus School in Saida City, Lebanon, by providing quality education to young refugees from Palestine.

The school is run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides assistance and protection to around 5 million registered refugees, including quality education through its 700 schools across Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, West Bank and Jordan.

Ms Ayoub said she is devoted to encouraging the children to fulfill their potential; teaching communication and leadership skills, while also nurturing human values such as respect, tolerance and dialogue.

“At Nablus school we aim to build future leaders, people who are good communicators and are responsible members of society. We want our students to be self-motivated and capable of making independent, creative decisions in life,” Ms Ayoub said.

Ms Ayoub will be a guest speaker at the 2014 World Teachers’ Day event in Paris on October 6-7, sharing her invaluable experiences on working with refugee children. She will join the global dialogue with teachers from around the world to exchange best practices and discuss how these can influence policy making.

UNRWA works together with UNESCO in support of education for refugees from Palestine, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2014, formally renewing a 64 year partnership between the two agencies. Together, the agencies put professionally-trained, motivated and well supported teachers at the heart of education.

Caroline Pontefract, UNRWA Director of Education, said a coherent approach to teacher development was instrumental in the challenging context of Nablus school, and indeed in all UNRWA schools across the region.  

“We combine innovative models of professional development for all stages of a teacher’s career, using multimedia self-learning programmes, with the strengthening of day to day professional support structures, and ensuring opportunities for career progression,” Ms Pontefract said.

There is strong international consensus that education, particularly quality teaching and learning, must feature centrally in the post-2015 development agenda and will be critical to its success. This future agenda will be debated at this year’s UN General Assembly, and the global goal and target for education will be discussed further at the World Education Forum taking place in the Republic of Korea in May 2015.