Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Middle East: PM Fayyad and EU Representative lay the cornerstone at 'School of Hope' in Ramallah

Source: European Union (EU)

Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad and the European Union Representative, Mr. Christian Berger, laid the cornerstone to mark the start of the construction work at the Evangelical Lutheran "School of Hope" in Ramallah. This is part of the European contribution to support one of the core objectives of the Palestinian Ministry of Education: access to education.

In the presence of students and teachers from Ramallah's Evangelical Lutheran school as well as community representatives, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the European Union Representative, Mr. Christian Berger laid today the cornerstone of a new model school, the New Evangelical Lutheran "School of Hope" in Ramallah. In the first phase of this project, the European Union funded the construction of a 4000m2 building site that will accommodate around 500 students, who are now located in the old campus. The new school campus is expected to be completed within 14 months and once ready the facilities will be handed over to the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The construction of the "School of Hope" comes in the context of the EU's continuous support to the Palestinian education sector through increasing the physical capacity of school buildings but also improving the quality of education in the occupied Palestinian territory.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Bishop Dr. Munib Younan welcomed the guests and thanked the Prime Minister and the European Union for their support and commitment towards the education in Palestine.

On his speech at the ceremony the EU Representative, Mr Christian Berger said " With this school we are proud to contribute to a future built by well-educated Palestinians determined to serve best their people. I am here also today to reiterate the EU support to the Palestinian government's efforts to build the institutions and the infrastructure of the future Palestinian state; at the top these efforts is the work that is done in the field of education through better access to education and better quality of education".


The EU support to the education sector is based on the Palestinian National Plan and closely linked to the 5-year Education Development Strategic Plan set out by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The main objectives of the EU assistance in the field of education are to increase access to education, improve the quality of teaching and ameliorate the management of the education system. Moreover, the EU supports higher education institutions with a number of scholarships and cooperation programmes between the oPt and EU Member States and works with Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions to help them deliver more market-oriented trainings.

Between 1996 and 2006 the EU built and equipped 30 new schools in both the West Bank and Gaza. More than 17,000 students managed to have access to education as a result of these new buildings. The current project entails the construction of a total of three schools in Bir-Zeit, Jericho and Ramallah for a total budget of €5.06 million.