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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
2 July 2013

UNRWA launches new framework to improve
and enrich education for Palestine refugees

2 July 2013


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has begun the implementation of a comprehensive Curriculum Framework, which will help the Agency continue to improve teaching and learning in its schools and better serve the needs of its students.

Planning for the Quality Framework for Quality Analysis and Implementation of Curriculum (Curriculum Framework) began in 2012 with representatives from all five UNRWA fields and the support of experts from the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE). Dr Caroline Pontefract, UNRWA Director of Education, emphasized that the Curriculum Framework will help UNRWA make a positive difference in its schools. It will also ensure the same quality standards are applied across the Agency.

The framework serves as a policy reference document, an evaluation tool, a framework for analysis and a tool for professional development. The Curriculum Framework,will enable UNRWA to analyse and enrich host country curricula, textbooks and other learning materials to ensure that they reflect UNRWA values and expectations, ensuring that UNRWA education aligns with the Agency’s broader development goals and reflects the values, principles and purposes of the United Nations...

"This paves the way for teachers to explore the aspects of the system that need enrichment and provides opportunities for students to build their competency in all subjects," said Dr Mustafa Al-Gharabli, Head of the Curriculum Unit at the UNRWA Education Department.

Dr Brian Male, an expert from UNESCO-IBE, will conduct a workshop in Amman, from 2 to 4 July, to train staff from all five UNRWA fields on effective use of the framework. The workshop will also be attended by Gonzalo Retamal, an IBE researcher who is working with UNRWA to support dissemination of and advocacy for the framework, including in a chapter of the forthcoming publication, Defeating War in the Minds of Men: Strategy and Practice of Humanitarian Curriculum.

– Ends –

Background information

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

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 72 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724

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