World Bank gives PA $5 million for teacher training 13Aug10 August 14, 2010

Palestine Note -  13 August 2010


The World Bank will give the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority $5 million to train primary school teachers, a World Bank press release reported Thursday.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza Ms. Dina Abu-Ghaida signed the Teacher Education Improvement Project grant agreement Wednesday.

The World Bank reported:

The Teacher Education Improvement Project focuses on training teachers of grades one to four, with the aim of enhancing the basic education of primary school pupils. Last year, the Bank granted an additional US$5 million for the training of teachers in higher education institutions through the Quality Improvement Fund of the Tertiary Education Project.

“This project will [be] invaluable in the implementation of our Teacher Education Strategy, which recognizes the key role played by primary school teachers in high quality education for Palestinian children”, said Dr. Lamis Al-Alami, Minister of Education and Higher Education.

“Teachers of the highest quality are key to the development of the Palestinian education system,” said Ms. Abu-Ghaida. “The World Bank is committed to support the PA’s strategic effort to meet this challenge.”

This Teacher Education Improvement Project will complement efforts by the EC, UNESCO, and other donors (such as GTZ, Finland, Ireland, Norway, France), who are also supporting the implementation of the Education Development Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Education.

The Bank has had a long term involvement in support of education in the Palestinian Territories starting with the Education and Health Rehabilitation Project of 1995, followed by the Education Action project in 2001 and the Tertiary Education Project in 2005.

According to 2007 World Bank statistics, primary school enrollment in the West Bank and Gaza has been on a steady decline since 2000. And a study from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a study Thursday revealing 29% of Palestinian high school students drop out.

Improving primary education isn’t just a World Bank initiative – American Near East Refugee Aid announced Monday new appointments to direct its Early Childhood Education Initiative.

ANERA reported Monday:

ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sulieman Mleahat and Sulaima K. Abu-El-Haj to direct ANERA’s Early Childhood Education Initiative, which will map out a national strategy for Palestinian preschool educators.

The multi-year program includes curriculum and national standards development and capacity building for preschool educators; mentoring programs for teachers in coordination with West Bank universities and upgrading infrastructure at selected preschools as quality preschools for practice training of teacher trainees in the West Bank.

“We are proud to be an integral part of this effort to assemble a national strategy for early childhood education and appreciate the confidence bestowed upon us by the Ministry of Education,” said ANERA president Bill Corcoran. “This project underscores ANERA’s long-time commitment to improving educational opportunities for Palestinian youth, which will provide the building blocks for a better future.”

The Early Childhood Education project has been endorsed by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and will be developed in cooperation with the ministry and local NGOs to encourage community involvement in childhood education.

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