Wikipedia offers a convenient overview of education in the West Bank and Gaza. A brief summary follows:
Education in the Palestinian territories refers to the educational system in Gaza and the West Bank administered by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
- In the Palestinian territories education system, compulsory basic education includes Grades 1 to 10 and this is divided into the preparatory stage (Grades 1 to 4) and the empowerment stage (Grades 5 to 10).
- There are three types of schools: boys’ schools (37%), girls’ schools (35%), and co-educational schools (29%).
- Secondary education (general secondary education and a few vocational secondary schools) covers Grades 11 and 12.
- There are 11 universities and 11 technical colleges , mainly with four-year courses.
- Additionally, there are 19 community colleges that mainly offer two-year diploma courses in technical and commercial specializations.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) has a responsibility for the whole education sector from pre-primary to higher education and for recruiting and training teachers as well.
- The mission of the MOEHE is 1) to ensure education for all, 2) improve its quality and its standards, and 3) to ultimately develop citizens with sound and balanced characters.
- Education in Palestinian territories is centralized in regard to its curriculum, textbooks, instructions, and regulations.
- The administrative structure of the general education is composed of 22 fields’ directorates (districts offices) of education, including 16 in the West Bank and 6 in Gaza
Government expenditure on education was 18 % of total government expenditure in 2003. The remaining funding in education comes from donors and international organizations.
- In Palestine territories, access to schools is primarily constrained by physical conditions and movement restrictions.
- However, insufficient investment in upgrading education has led to crowding and deterioration in the learning environment.
- The limited services for students with special needs, facing psychological trauma, has also became evident.
- The inequity in resource allocation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has become serious as well.
Education Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) 2008–2012 has four goals:
- to increase access of school-aged children and students of all education levels and improve the ability of the education system to retain them (Access),
- to improve the quality of teaching and learning (Quality),
- to develop the capacity for planning and management and to improve the financial and management systems used (Management), and
- to realize a gradual conversion of the higher education sector from a supply-oriented to a demand-oriented sector, which will gradually guarantee more compatibility between higher education outputs and labor market(s) need from qualitatively and quantitatively (Relevance).
Goal 1 to 3 is for pre-school, general, non-formal, higher education, and vocational education, and Goal 4 is only for higher education and vocational education
Demand for tertiary education has increased significantly in the past decade with students enrolled in tertiary education institutions more than tripling between 1995 and 2006.
- Some academics [who?] have suggested that Palestinian Authority higher education system needs to not only satisfy the increasing demand from the growing population of secondary education graduates, but also to maintain quality and relevance to meet the changing demands of the global economy.
- In addition, public financing for tertiary education is considered insufficient given Palestinian Authority financial circumstances.
- The system heavily depends on student fees, which represent 60% of universities’ operating costs.
More students enrolled in certain academic programs such as social science, education, and humanities and arts in higher education, and the share of science and engineering is proportionately less.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
There are five streams in school-based vocational training: industrial, agricultural, commercial, hotel and home economics.
- The demand for most vocational training is weak.
- Manual skilled occupations continue to have low status and only the least academically able students are expected to enroll at TVET institutions.
Four hundred fifty students are enrolled in the National Institute of Information Technology