April 30th 2013 Global Coordinator of GCE Meets with Representatives of the Palestinian Coalition for Safe School Environment
Representatives of member organizations of the Palestinian Coalition for Safe School Environment met on Thursday, 25th April 2103 with Dr. Camilla Croso the global coordinator of GCE. The meeting aimed at presenting and discussing the progress in the Palestinian participation in the Global Action Week 2013.
Refaat Sabbah, GCE board member, welcomed Croso and pointed out the importance of her visit to Palestine in strengthening communication among GCE members from various countries. Sabbah presented as well the history of Palestinian participation in the GCE and its different GAWs.
Omar Assaf, the national coordinator of the Palestinian Coalition presented Palestine’s program for the Global Action Week, starting with the preparations and coordination efforts among coalition members, to the organization and implementation of planned activities in all districts of Palestine. Assaf highlighted also member organizations’ self-organized activities that were planned and implemented in support for the Coalition’s national program. The national coordinator presented some of the main findings of the paper that was conducted by the coalition on the status of Palestinian teachers’ education, professional development and rights; in addition to the documentary film that presents teachers’ economic and social needs and demands, campaign posters and publications, and the coordination with MoE and UNRWA education program to implement the “Big Day” event in all schools. This event took place in 22-24/4/2013, in which politicians, ministers, members of legislative council and members of local authorities and teachers’ union went back to schools and presented lessons about their favorite teachers and about teachers’ rights. Assaf presented also the on-going progress in the actual implementation of the GAW in Palestinian public, private and UNRWA schools. He mentioned also how community members and political leaders were actively involved in the campaign this year.
Camilla Croso, the global coordinator of GCE, expressed her pride of the Palestinian involvement in the GCE activities and efforts. Croso expressed the importance of continuing these national efforts in Palestine not only during the GAW, but also throughout the year. She mentioned that she believes the Palestinian Coalition has the capacity to achieve advocacy throughout the year in light of the success in implementing the GAW.
Croso mentioned also that national coalitions should represent and reflect the national needs and agenda for educational reform. Therefore, she saw that it was right for the Palestinian Coalition to use the motto of “the Palestinian Teacher Deserves” besides “every child needs teachers”. The global coordinator stated that there is an important role now in unifying the Palestinian teachers and increase solidarity with their rights.
Croso stated the importance of exchange of experience between regions and internationally. In Latin America, for example, there is a pioneer experience in activating educational media networks, an experience that can be a model to examine in Palestine.
The Global Coordinator of GCE focused also on the importance of having clear budget for the national coalition in order to sustain its work throughout the year, and not only to have seasonal pattern of work.
The meeting discussed also the dangerous attempts by the World Bank to dominate and limit teacher development and education plans in Palestine. This would be of great negative impact on education and on achieving the EFA goals. Croso encouraged the Palestinian Coalition to advocate against these attempts and policies.
At the end, Croso highlighted the importance of enhancing and strengthening communication between the national coalition and the GCE. In his turn, Sabbah expressed the Palestinian Coalition’s appreciation to Croso’s visit to Palestine and support to its campaign.