National Consultations on the Transforming Education Summit

Today, the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with UNESCO and UNICEF, held a consultation ahead of the upcoming Transforming Education Pre-Summit happening in Paris from the 28th to the 30thof June, at which His Excellency Prof. Dr. Marwan Awartani, Minister of Education, will be in attendance.

This Pre-Summit is taking place in advance of the Transforming Education Summit (TES) happening in New York this September, when Palestine will then take its place amongst world leaders for the TES at the invitation of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres.

The consultation, held in Ramallah, gathered stakeholders from across the education sector in Palestine with the aim of developing a shared vision for the future of education and strengthening both public and private commitment in pursuit of these goals. The audience heard remarks from the Minister for Education, H.E. Prof. Dr. Marwan Awartani; the President of the Global Campaign for Education, Mr. Refaat Sabbah; UNESCO Ramallah Head of Office and Representative to Palestine, Ms. Noha Bawazir; and Consutlation Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Shuaibat.

Attendees then broke into groups to engage in productive discussions about key educational issues on the agenda for TES, including inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools; learning and skills for life; teachers and teaching; digital learning; and the financing of education. The discussions and inputs throughout this consultation process will help to inform the government’s statement due to be delivered at the Transforming Education Summit.

The Transforming Education Summit is a crucial opportunity to renew global political commitments to education as a public good and ensure that it is recognised as a human right and foundation for peace and sustainable development. The Summit is happening at a time of unprecedented disruption to education globally, as the education sector continues to reel from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking this morning, Ms. Noha Bawazir said: “The UNESCO International Commission on the Future of Education has called for a new social contract for education – one that can both deliver on the unfulfilled promises of the past, and transform the future.”

“There must be inclusive dialogue and meaningful engagement across stakeholders, especially with young people, students and teachers. This process in the lead up to the Transforming Education Summit gives us all an opportunity to ensure education is at the centre of political debate in Palestine. All girls and boys in Palestine must complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.”

Ms. Bawazir concluded by saying: “While we celebrate educational achievements made in Palestine, we must focus on what remains to be done to achieve the targets under SDG 4, Quality Education. We look forward to the continuation of this inclusive process, including the focus group which will take place in Gaza next month, as we all take steps towards achieving SDG 4 and leaving no one behind.”