Funded by Japan and Implemented by UNDP Beit Jala Girls School Celebrates the Opening of its New Building

19 May 2014

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Bethlehem, 19 May 2014 – Today marked an important step forward for girls in the Beit Jala School as they celebrated the inauguration of their new building in the Bethlehem Governorate of the West Bank. The school was funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and the Municipalities of Bethlehem and Beit Jala.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Mohammed Abu Zeid, Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education, highlighted the ministry's achievements and continuous efforts to develop the infrastructure necessary to improve the quality of education, develop curriculums and teachers' skills. “This model school will provide a comprehensive learning environment that will enhance students' development. We thank the Government of Japan and UNDP for their continuous support to the State of Palestine”.

The new school will cater for approximately 360 female students from grades five to twelve. The works included the construction of new classrooms, laboratories, multipurpose hall, administration rooms, toilets, storage spaces, in addition to furniture and landscaping.

Mr Hiroyuki Kajita, who spoke on behalf of Japan's Ambassador of Palestinian Affairs, reiterated Japan’s commitment to its continuous assistance for the Palestinian endeavor to establish a viable state with everyone living in peace, security and prosperity. “Japan has long continued to provide Palestinian people with a broad range of support for education, emphasizing nation-building and human resource development” he added.

The new school, built at a total cost of USD 831,496, is part of UNDP’s support to the development of the education sector in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip in accordance with the Palestinian Development Plan and the Ministry of Education’s Strategic plan.

Mr Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator emphasized that strong educational institutions are the basis of a productive society and a progressive nation. “Palestinian children deserve schools that will empower them to achieve their dreams. The young Palestinian generation must have the knowledge and the ability to think critically in order to constructively contribute to the development of a Palestinian State”, he added.

The inauguration ceremony, which took place on Monday 19 May 2014, was attended by H.E. Mohammed Abu Zeid, Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education, H.E. Abdul Fattah Hamayel, Governor of Bethlehem, Mr Hiroyuki Kajita on behalf of the Japan Representative Office, Mr Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Dr Nael Salman, Mayor of Beit Jala and Ms Nisreen Amr, Director of Education in Bethlehem.

According to the Ministry of Education, there are 1881 school buildings across the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the total number of students has increased from 1,109,126 in 2009 to 1,138,965 in 2013. It is worth noting that the net enrolment rate in basic education is 94.4% among Palestinian children in the 6-15 age group and completion of basic education is 88.5%.



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Contact Information

For further information, please contact:
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.