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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
5 February 2014

UNRWA launches teacher policy to further professionalize its teaching force


Arabic text:

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has launched its Teacher Policy, aimed at bolstering the Agency’s 22,800 teachers and other education staff through training and other career development. One of the key objectives of the initiative is to better motivate and professionally support teachers. "UNRWA sees well-trained and motivated teachers as the most powerful force for an equitable, quality education system", said UNRWA Director of Education Dr. Caroline Pontefract.

The development of the policy took several years in order to ensure that it would be professionally valuable in achieving quality education, but also financially feasible, logistically manageable and politically acceptable. Dr. Pontefract explained: "Throughout the policy-development process, we faced difficult choices relating to achieving a meaningful balance between these four parameters. However, a common commitment to provide quality education to all learners, and the will to invest in UNRWA teachers, enabled us to overcome many obstacles."

The UNRWA Teacher Policy seeks to further professionalize the Agency's teaching force and to maximize its investment in teachers towards improved student learning. It will achieve this not just by setting parameters for recruitment and initial training and emphasizing professional development of teachers through in-service programmes, but also through stronger day-to-day support systems. As Dr. Pontefract highlighted: "The policy represents a key strand of the overall UNRWA education reform and will help to motivate and further capacitate teachers, through career-progression opportunities and the establishment of new structures which will facilitate school quality assurance, student ongoing assessment and the overall coordination of professional development."

For more information on the policy, please click here: UNRWA Teacher Policy


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 5 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$ 65 million.

For more information, please contact:

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

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

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