::   I n t r o d u c t i o n  ::

Throughout their long and turbulent history, the Palestinian people have relied on the human resources, particularly the human mind and skills, to sustain their survival and development as a nation.  In that context, education has been always considered by Palestinians as the one prerequisite, not only for nation building but also for achieving a genuine and sustainable peace.

Since its establishment in 1994, the Ministry of Education & Higher Education (MOEHE) has commit it self to reform the inherited education system with the aim to assist the preparation of the Palestinian citizens towards life in a democratic society, and towards the contribution of the economy of the society. The Ministry has been working very hard to build an education system responsive to social, cultural and developmental needs of Palestinian people to be an active participant within the global economy.  In pursuing that vision, the Ministry faced many challenges; among which is the unification of the two systems of education in Gaza and West Bank, the expansion of school buildings to meet the enormous demand on education, the equipping of schools with needed labs and equipment, the training of teachers, and the development of special programs to meet the different needs of the population.

The Ministry has always believed that a quality education system is one that focuses on equipping students with knowledge and skills for lifelong learning as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development. The Ministry embarked on developing the Palestinian Curricula as part of the educational reform process. The Ministry, aware that a knowledge based economy depends on the use of ideas and applications of technology, has introduced technology education and IT in the new curricula from grades 5-12 and introduced English language from Grade 1.  

In order to respond to itís commitment of preparing students with knowledge and skills to meet the challenge of rapid technological production, the Ministry took several steps toward embedding ICT within the education system.  Almost 50% of MOEHE schools were equipped with computer labs, the Schools Net project is implemented in 16 schools, the schools on line is another project implemented in 10 schools, and the Ministryís new initiative aiming at developing a new web site Zajel to enable students and teachers to interact with each others, exchange experience in lesson planning and make use of available information.

In doing so, the Ministry is fulfilling its part to the national ICT strategy, and the national vision towards the establishment of viable Palestinian state which will be capable, within its limited resources, to positively contribute to the well being and stability of the region and world at large.    

Therefore, the challenges that are facing Palestinians will be on transforming Palestinian society from being consumer and dependent oriented to knowledge productive and independent, injecting new social values that will assist society in entering the twenty-first century as a modern Arab-Palestinian society, and on refocusing its education orientation in the future to accommodate the global knowledge economy in the most competitive approach.



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