Palestinian schoolchildren. (File photo: UNRWA)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced the launch of its Information and Communication Technology for Education (ICT4E) Strategy to support Palestinian refugee students, teachers, and education staff in mastering digital technology.
UNRWA said the strategy is expected to serve over 540,000 Palestine refugee students and approximately 20,000 education staff in over 700 schools across besieged Gaza, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
UNRWA has been teaching Palestine refugee children for over 70 years and its education programmes have always been informed by the ever-changing technological developments. The Agency, therefore, strongly believes that access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and use in pedagogy is key to the realisation of UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, inclusive and equitable quality education, and for UNRWA students to become independent actors who can actively and critically engage with digital technology.
The ICT4E Strategy is part of an Agency-wide Digital Transformation Strategy led by the Department of Information Management and Technology (IMTD). In 2021, IMTD together with the Department of Education, developed the UNRWA Digital Learning Platform (DLP), as the COVID-19 pandemic undeniably amplified and accelerated the need for digitalization within the UNRWA education programme.
The Strategy will serve as vision and guideline for how the UNRWA education programme will engage with technology in the coming years, both in times of relative stability and emergency, supporting the desire for innovative and collaborative teaching. In this regard, the ICT4E Strategy prioritises securing four enablers, namely improving access to devices, enhancing connectivity, strengthening resources, and developing capacity building in technology for learning, teaching and educational management.