Press Release

Anera and Palestinian Education Ministry Develop Early Childhood Development Strategy

October 28, 2009 | Jerusalem – The Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Anera (American Near East Refugee Aid) are pleased to announce an initiative to help design a national framework for educating Palestinian preschoolers.

The Ministry of Education officially launched the project on October 28 at a one-day conference, “Towards the Development of a National Framework in Early Childhood Education/Palestine,” which brought together universities, non-profits, educators, funders, government officials and preschool administrators. The Ministers of Education, Planning and Social Affairs opened the conference along with Anera President Bill Corcoran.

The conference focused on the role of each partner in developing curriculum and infrastructure, education policies for preschools, training and funding.

“We cannot underestimate the vital importance of how the early years of life greatly influence a child’s future,” said Education Minister Lamis Alami. “Developing a national guidelines for early childhood education are important elements of the National Plan for 2009-2011.”

The multi-year project, which will include many partners, will create the common guidelines and training for preschool educators. In the first phase, Anera will partner with Catholic Bethlehem University and secular Najah University to develop instruction in early childhood education and provide resources for mentoring preschool teachers and administrators.

Four model schools will be selected for the first phase which will include renovations needed to create the appropriate infrastructure for the safety and well-being of students and teachers.

Anera President Bill Corcoran underscored the program’s long-term benefits,” We welcome this opportunity to help build the proper system that can nurture a young child’s capacity and love for learning.”