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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
28 February 2012





Item 4 of the provisional agenda

REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL ON THE EXECUTION
OF THE PROGRAMME ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL CONFERENCE
ADDENDUM


SUMMARY

This addendum presents analytical reports from field offices on the impact of the Organization at country-level, highlighting major results achieved including contributions to the UN Country Teams’ (UNCTs) activities and common country programming exercises.


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ARAB STATES

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UNESCO Office in Ramallah

Education

604. Within the programme on “Quality Systems for Quality Teachers” funded by the European Union (€3.6 million), technical assistance was provided for developing systems and operational frameworks needed for the implementation of the Teacher Education Strategy (TES), particularly through support to the Commission for Developing the Teaching Profession (CDTP). National professional standards such as Teachers' Standards Guides and Principals’ Standards were finalized. A new structure of teachers on the “career level” was developed. Five PhD students out of the twenty two have already defended their thesis. Under the umbrella of improving and developing professional development of teacher training programmes a group of fifteen MoEHE staff and university members attended a training held in Norway on the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education and Special Needs Education, nine other participants attended a specialized international conference in Germany on the Use of ICT in Education. In line with UNESCO’s global priority Gender equality the World Teachers' Day was celebrated on the 5th of October 2011 in Palestine with a focus on the role of teachers in promoting gender equality.

605. In the area of educational planning and management, UNESCO continued to support the strengthening of national education planning capacities in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly regarding the scaling up of basic services in Area C. In collaboration with the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office, UNESCO provided further technical support to finalize a situation analysis as a basis for a strategic plan for Area C to be part of the Education Development Strategic Plan (EDSP).

606. In close collaboration with the MoEHE and the UNCT, UNESCO finalized the development of the education package covering the west bank and Gaza to address some gaps of technical assistance within the MoEHE in providing quality education for all focusing on early childhood development, inclusive and child-friendly education. In the framework of learning opportunities for marginalized communities, UNESCO continued its collaboration with “Right to Play” to conduct play activities in 13 governmental school located in the restricted access area of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

607. The emergency education programme in Gaza, which started in 2009, is completed in its present phase and is being subjected to an external evaluation in January/February 2012. Over the past six months, activities focused on continued support for higher education institutions, as well as assistance to some of the most vulnerable primary and secondary schools in the Gaza Strip, where an integrated programme aimed at enhancing the quality of education and making the school environment safer was implemented. The project targeted 12 government schools located in the access restricted areas close to the Israeli border, was expanded to another 17 vulnerable schools, drawn from a list of the most vulnerable ones in the Gaza strip. These schools benefited from an integrated training and community development package which combines education and protection elements and which was developed by applying the principles of education for Disaster Risk Reduction to the situation of protracted conflict.

Culture

608. The acceptance of Palestine as a full member of UNESCO is dramatically changing the scenario for cooperation in the field of Culture. Preparatory efforts of the past 9 years, since World Heritage Committee’s decision 26 COM 6.1 to safeguard Palestinian cultural and natural heritage (Budapest, 2002), are coming to fruition. Nomination dossiers to inscribing cultural properties are ready for submission to the World Heritage Centre; while a number of local professionals have been trained in preparing World Heritage related documents. In the domain of intangible heritage, through both the Regular Programme, and the MDG-F for Culture and Development in the oPt (funded by the Government of Spain), UNESCO provided technical assistance to develop the framework for the inventory of a variety of forms of intangible cultural heritage, such as folktales, traditional dance, fishing culture and traditional agricultural knowledge.

609. A 4-day workshop for “Developing a National Charter for the Conservation and Management of Palestinian Heritage” was carried out in December 2011, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, ICCROM, and several local Cultural Heritage organizations, with the support of the MDG-F and the Government of Malta. Key result of the workshop is a shared set of documents to be used for the definition of the Palestinian Heritage Law, assessed as a top priority by all stakeholders for an effective protection of cultural properties.

610. Within the framework of the MDG-F, the Sebastiya Integrated Conservation and Management Plan, first-of-its-kind as it gathers the protection of archaeological sites and features, historic urban fabric and cultural landscape together, is expected to be completed by March 2012.

611. Three projects were brought to completion: the “Bethlehem Area Conservation and Management Plan”, funded by the Government of Italy, the “Nablus Old City Centre Renovation, Restoration and adaptive re-use of Khan al Wakala” funded by the European Union,. The rehabilitation of the khan (caravanserai) and its refurbishment as an urban facility and incubator of compatible economic activities, is contributing to the revitalization of a quarter of the Old City particularly affected by marginalization; and the “Safeguarding Historical and Environmental Resources towards Sustainable Development in the Bethlehem Governorate”. The “Battir Cultural Landscape Plan”, was awarded the “Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes. Within the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS, mainly funded by the Government of Japan) Joint Programme “Livelihood Protection and Sustainable Empowerment of Vulnerable Rural and Refugee Communities in the Jordan Valley”, the first building, which aim was to show the advantages of earthen architecture through the use of mud-bricks produced locally, has been terminated with the involvement of women in the production of the mud-bricks.

612. Technical assistance for the conservation of the archaeological site of Saint Hilarion Monastery/Tell Umm Amer in Nuseirat, south of Gaza City, is ensured through a partnership between UNESCO and the French Cooperation and the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem.

Social and Human Sciences

613. With the fund from the Government of Norway, as well as the MDG Trust Fund “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the oPt” programme, UNESCO promoted gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Palestinian society through the activities of the Palestinian Women Research and Documentation Centre (PWRDC). The center accomplished four studies linked to education: ‘The conditions of community college students and their professional and academic future’; ‘Investigation of representation of gender in Arabic textbooks used at the 4th grade at Palestinian governmental schools’; ‘Between the educational policies and its impact. Analytical study of educational policies and its effect on gender power relations’; and ‘The effect of family socioeconomic characteristics on inter-gender differences in university field of study’. In addition, two fact sheets were completed on social attitudes towards people with disabilities from a gender perspective and Palestinian legislations and laws.

614. PWRDC continued its capacity development interventions and finalized four long term training courses; action research, project management, gender units training and the gender audit. A manual was produced to be used by Women NGO’s in campaigns on combating violence against women, as well as a manual on gender analysis, needs, roles, mainstreaming, gender audit and gender budget to be used by gender units at the Palestinian ministries. In collaboration with the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), PWRDC organized several workshops to present fact sheets on “Laws that are preventing women from participating in the labour market”, and “Laws that prevent women from decision making and call for actions”.

Communication and Information

615. Under a wider project financed by the Finnish Government, UNESCO supported the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA). MADA has created, jointly with other organizations, the Arab Network on Freedom of Expression. Under the same fund, Birzeit University´s Media Development Center facilitated internships for female journalists in the West Bank and Gaza. In turn, Filastiniyat supported networking through the Palestinian Female Journalists´ Club. It produced a Palestinian female journalist’s directory and a women professionals' directory for the media.

616. UNESCO continued its support to AMIN Network on a project called “CITIZEN MEDIA: a tool for a change”, The project included workshops on advanced social media techniques targeted journalists, youth activists and bloggers in the West Bank and Gaza, aiming at providing an alternative media platform to promote freedom of expression, pluralism, social change and active participatory dialogue. On the same context of IPDC funded projects, “Enhancing women’s roles and voices in media” has been also successfully completed by our partner the first women community radio in the oPt, “Nissa FM” radio station, aiming towards strengthening the skills of female community reporters, especially from rural areas.

617. With regular programme funding, the CI sector supported training on conflict sensitive reporting in the West Bank and Gaza, in partnership with Birzeit University. CI also contributed to build capacities for coverage on humanitarian issues and development assistance within the Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA).

Natural Sciences

618. In the field of science education, the MoEHE, in collaboration with UNESCO, the Consulate General of France and the Palestinian association of scientific mediation Al Nayzak, organized the second edition of the Palestinian Science Festival in October 2011. In echo with the UN World Science Day for Peace and Development and the yearly science festival organized in France, the Palestinian Science Festival was held, successively, in Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Abu Dis and Gaza. Around 10,000 children from the West Bank and Gaza were able to develop their skills of observation and deduction by approaching scientific experiments proposed by their elders, science students in three major Palestinian universities. In November 2011, UNESCO, under the Science Regular Programme, commissioned a study for the intelligent use of resources and technology for earthen architecture (e.g. recycling of water, solar and wind energy), which principles and applications will be employed in the buildings to be constructed within the programme.

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