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30, Dec, 2015

H.E Prof. Rami Hamdallah: the most prominent accomplishment achieved during 2015 is maintaining the flow of the educational process. "Despite hard challenges and the volatile situation, we could protect the unity of the educational system in the West Bank and Gaza.

Dr. Saidam: the launch of President's Award holds explicit and implicit messages towards Palestinian teachers, and their leading role in subsidizing the Palestinian generations. In fact, teachers' role is the main catalyst that shapes the youth of today to be the pillars of society, to be all that they can be in the future.

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) launched the President's Award for outstanding Teachers, concurrently with the event of Teachers Gratitude Day, during a central celebration held in Ramallah Cultural Palace. This event is organized under the auspices of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with the participation of the Prime Minister. Prof. Rami Hamdallah, and Dr. Sabri Saidam, Minister of Education & Higher Education.

The ceremony was also attended by other ministers, including Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad al-Malki, Minister of Local Government Dr. Hussein Araj, Head of Civil Service Bureau Mr. Mousa Abu Zeid, Head of State Audit & Administrative Control Bureau Eyad Tayym, Head of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements Mr. Walid Assaf, Head of the Supreme Council for Creativity and Excellence Mr. Adnan Samara, General Secretary of Teachers Union Ahmad Sahwail, Head of Energy Authority Dr. Omar Kattaneh, Minister of Agriculture Dr. Sufian Sultan, Head of PCBS Mrs. Ola Awad, and many other diplomatic figures and representatives of International organizations.

In his speech, the Prime Minister commended the Palestinian teachers for their pioneering role in arming the younger generations with science and knowledge, as they work hard to lift children out of frustration and despair, and give them a new hope for a more prosperous future.

"As we are honoring the entrepreneurs and the outstanding teachers" Prof. Hamdallah said, "We keep in mind the memory of the virtuous teacher" Mrs. Riham Dawabsheh" who was burnt alive with the rest of her family by an aggressive attack from settlers, fed by hatred and incitement. Similarly, we remember Ms. Ola Golani, who sacrificed her life to save children from flames in Jaba' accident three years ago. We remember all the Palestinian martyrs who are still alive among and within us all by their tremendous contributions".

H.E. Prof. Hamdallah Said "We're commemorating the Palestinian Teachers Day this year at the time of the Israeli unprecedented escalation against the Palestinian people. During this year, the Israeli Authorities unleashed its army and settlers to commit acts of torture and murder against the Palestinian civilians. Since the beginning of the current popular uprising, it's estimated that one teacher and twenty students were killed in cold blood, and dozens of students are detained from schools and universities or at checkpoints. This is happening at a time when the Israeli occupation is still holding the bodies of the Palestinian martyrs, preventing relatives from giving them proper ritual funerals. Meanwhile, the Israeli Occupation has escalated its displacement campaigns, uprooting and confiscation schemes, especially in East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and the so-called Area C.

Prof. Hamdallah stressed the idea that the government's plan for education goes far beyond crisis management or facing challenges, to include creating modern educational environment, stimulating science and knowledge, and more importantly the adaptation of technology in the education system. Additionally, there is a growing trend towards capacity building and skills development for both teachers and students.

The Prime Minister said: "The most prominent achievement we had during 2015 is maintaining the continuity of the educational process in spite of all challenges and threats on land. We have made a qualitative success by scoring high in several international competitions, as three Palestinian teachers won among the top 50 at the Nobel prize for Teaching , these are Hanan Hroub, Fida' Za'tar, and Jawdat Seesan. Likewise, Palestine has won awards at the Intel for Science competition in the Arab world, through the participation of the students Mofeed Alawneh and Jehan Ahmed.

In another context, the Prime Minister Prof. Hamdallah assured that the government will work hard to fulfill the financial obligations for teachers, as long as the financial possibilities are available.

At the event, Dr. Saidam stressed the particularity of the celebration which holds the meaning of gratitude and admiration for Palestinian teachers on what they are doing to enlighten the minds and spirits of successive generations. H.E. Dr. Saidam commended this noble gesture of the president and the prime Minister, which comes in the context of supporting the education sector, through dedicating all potentials to enhance the entrepreneurial education and expand creativity.

Dr. Saidam said that the President's award is a special recognition from the presidency and government to those teachers whose outstanding efforts have enabled them to meet challenging standards of excellence. The award is also an indication to the real intentions to move forward in the educational reform, taking advantage of the leading Arab and international experiences. Dr. Saidam congratulated the outstanding teachers for their hard work, patience and diligence to raise and enrich the younger generations with knowledge and values.

In his speech, Mr. Sahwail renewed his call to improve the financial status of teachers and their demands, stressing the Unions intention to go on coordination with the government in order to achieve these demands. In the same context, He praised the role of teachers and their great efforts in bringing up and educating the Palestinian generations.

On behalf of outstanding teachers, Ms. Hala Al-Sous thanked the Ministry of Education & Higher Education and the presidency for this thoughtful gesture, alluding to teachers' persistence to carry out all the tasks of this sacred profession and devote their potentials and skills in order to develop the educational innovation and excellence.

At the end of the ceremony, Prof. Hamdallah, Dr. Saidam and other ministers honored he outstanding teachers.