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Joint Financing Arrangement - phase II

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Belgium hands over co-chair to Finland during the Education Sector Working Group in Ramallah

Belgium hands over co-chair to Finland during the Education Sector Working Group in Ramallah

Ramallah – On 12 December 2016 the last Education Sector Working Group of the year took place at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. This meeting which gathers all education stakeholders in the Palestinian Territories, including officials of the MoEHE, national and international civil society, and development partners, takes place every three months at the MoEHE to discuss developments and challenges within the education sector in the Palestinian Territories.  

His Excellency, the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Sabri Saidam, announced that the role of the co-chair of the ESWG, which is currently fulfilled by the Consulate General of Belgium,  will be transferred to the Representation of Finland, as of 1st January 2017. His Excellency thanked the Belgian Delegation for their hard work for two and a half year. Mr. Bruno Jans, Consul General of Belgium, looked back at the many achievements of the education sector in the past two years, a sector that is seen as exemplary of the Sector Wide Approcach in the Palestinian Territories. He also stressed the continuation of collaboration with Belgium including through  the Joint Financing Arrangement. Belgium will continue to play a pivotal role particularly in the areas of TVET, curriculum development, education in emergency, public finance management and digitalization, as well as in the Service Delivery Pillar on Education of the EU Joint Framework.  

During the Education Sector Working Group,   key officials of the MoEHE presented the new framework of the Education Sector Strategy (2017-2022) and the Annual Work Plan and Budget for Financial Year 2017, followed by a group discussion with questions and answers.  

In her welcoming remarks at the meeting, Ms. Florence Duvieusart, Consul and Head of Development Cooperation at the Consulate General of Belgium commended the MoEHE for the hard work implemented in the sector under the dynamic leadership of  the Minister, and in genuine partnership with Development Partners. She stressed the positive developments that took place in 2016 in the areas of Financial Management, Technical and Vocational Education & Training, Digitalisation, and Education in Emergency.  She then acknowledged the need in 2017 to target investments in vulnerable areas like East Jerusalem, Gaza and Area C, and the need to enhance efforts to better coordinate development aid and humanitarian aid. She pledged continued support from international partners in these endeavours.  

In his welcoming remarks, UNESCO Representative to the Palestinian Territories, Dr. Lodovico Folin- Calabi, applauded the launch of the new National Policy Agenda and the achievements made in the education sector such as the introduction of the new Tawjihi system, TVET, curriculum reform and the developments made with early childhood education. Dr. Folin Calabi mentioned “these are big steps taken in a very short duration which will affect positively the learning outcomes of our children and help bridging the gap between the supply and demand in the Palestinian labour market”.  

At the end of the meeting, the Digitalization for Development Prize that the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education had won earlier this month in Belgium, was handed over to the Minister and the project team that had been responsible for the achievements.