UNRWA and Jordan’s Ministry of Education Hold Joint Workshop under the Patronage of Minister of Education

14 July 2017
UNRWA and the Jordanian Ministry of Education held a joint workshop on 5 July under the patronage of the Minister of Education to promote further collaboration on education for Palestine refugees. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Anwar al-Khatib

Under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Omar Razzaz, the Jordanian Minister of Education, a joint workshop was held on 5 July 2017 in Amman for senior staff from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Jordanian Ministry of Education. The event was attended by both the UNRWA Director of Operations in Jordan, Roger Davies, and the UNRWA Director of Education, Dr. Caroline Pontefract. The workshop sought to promote collaboration between UNRWA and the Ministry, as well as to share ideas, views and opinions on the Agency’s education programme and its recent reform, particularly the components related to the UNRWA Human Rights Programme, the School Parliaments initiative, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

In his opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Razzaz welcomed the participants and praised the role that UNRWA plays in providing education to Palestine refugee students in Jordan. He expressed his hope that the workshop would be successful and that its outcome would pave the way for further collaboration between the two parties.

Mr. Davies thanked the Minister for hosting the workshop and set the scene by briefing the workshop attendants about UNRWA operations in Jordan and highlighting the Agency’s ongoing focus and emphasis on the Human Rights Programme and on further strengthening the school parliaments.

Dr. Pontefract gave an overview of the Agency’s education work and the achievements of the recent reform, explaining that to enhance the quality of education, UNRWA had to shake the whole education system by taking a holistic and coherent approach; developing and implementing policies, strategies, capacity-building programmes; and ensuring good data and research.

Following this, participating UNRWA education staff described the Agency’s support to teachers through the Teacher Policy and the emphasis on continuous professional development. They also discussed the Human Rights Programme and the School Parliaments initiative and the importance of the UNRWA TVET programme for Palestine refugee youth. Fruitful discussions followed and the value of future collaboration was highlighted by participants from the Ministry of Education.

To conclude the workshop, Dr. Razzaz thanked UNRWA and expressed his admiration for the work and achievements of the UNRWA Education Reform. The Minister and the UNRWA Director of Education agreed to develop working groups and facilitate follow-up meetings, where focal points from both UNRWA and the Ministry of Education will be designated to further discuss collaboration domains.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance. 

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
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