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Source: General Assembly
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
2 May 2001
UK Provides Qualitative Support To UNRWA's Education Programme


HE Mr Henry Hogger, the British Ambassador to Syria, attended today a training session at UNRWA's Education Development Centre in Yarmouk to enhance the effectiveness of UNRWA schools in Syria.

The training, the first of a series of workshops conducted by British education experts, is being provided through the British Council with funding from the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID).

The 5-day workshop, entitled The School as the Focus of Development is also supported by key education staff from UNRWA Headquarters and the SAR Field Office, together with a British Council Programmes Officer from Jordan. Beginning 29 April and continuing until 3 May, it is preparing 30 Agency Headteachers and School Supervisors as trainers for their colleagues in how to improve teacher skills and student progress.

The British Government has been assisting UNRWA with a 5-year Development Plan for the Education Programme in all five of the Agency's Fields of operation. Other modules in the Plan have recently included management and leadership training in England for the Chiefs of the Field Education Programmes and Heads of the Education Development Centres.

"The training programme has been based on the premise that schools, led by effective headteachers, are best placed to decide on the key targets and approaches which they need to adopt for their own improvement," said Mr Alan Pentecost, the workshop leader .

The workshop "involves staff other than headteachers - including School Supervisors and a group of school staff described as the School Development Team - and covers areas such as links between the school and the community," Pentecost said. He also stressed the importance of the involvement of students and parents in improving school life.

Thanking the British Government for their engagement and generous donation, Mrs Angela Williams, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, underscored the significance of this contribution for a qualitative improvement in UNRWA's services to the Palestine refugees.

The United Kingdom, one of UNRWA's major donors, contributed US$ 19.2 million towards the General Fund in 2000. In addition, the British Government provided technical assistance to develop the Agency's procurement and financial management systems and the education programme, including a cash contribution of US$ 131,638 for procurement training. The Agency also received US$ 7.1 million in response to the first Emergency Appeal for humanitarian assistance in the West Bank and Gaza. launched in November 2000. Through the British Embassy in Syria, the United Kingdom also provided furniture and equipment for the Alliance Health Centre, Damascus and English text books for students at the Damascus Training Centre. For 2001, UNRWA has received a first instalment of US$ 4.3 million for the General Fund and a further US$ 4.3 million towards the second Emergency Appeal launched in February.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, provides basic education, health, relief and social services to 3.8 million Palestine refugees, of whom about 388,000 are registered with the Agency in Syria.

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