New Classrooms Opened for Students in Beit Jala
Beit Jala – Today marked an important step forward for secondary students in Talitha Kumi co-educational school as they celebrated the inauguration of seven new classrooms.
The project is part of the Poverty Oriented Employment Generation Programme funded by the Government of Germany via its Development Bank KfW and implemented by UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People. The project, with a budget of 120,000 Euro, includes the construction of an additional floor with a total area of 420m2 and a staircase. The floor consists of seven classrooms that will serve 195 students (110 female and 85 male).
Among the guests of the official ceremony were Mr. Götz Lingenthal, Head of the German Representative Office Ramallah, Mr. Marc Engelhardt, Head of the KfW Office Ramallah/Al Bireh, Ms. Silvia Paschke, KfW Regional Manager of the Middle East, Mr. Sami Mruwwah Director of Education in the Bethlehem District, and Mr. Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.
Mr. Lingenthal pointed out that Talitha Kumi School is a German-Palestinian “joint venture” and a truly special school which – inspite of sometimes difficult conditions – has become a role model for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.
Mr. Engelhardt added: “This project is another example how short-term employment generation effects can be combined with a social infrastructure that provides long-term impact on the improvement of people’s living conditions.”
Noting the long-standing relationship between UNDP and the Government of Germany, the Special Representative of UNDP, Mr. Frode Mauring reminded the audience of the importance of education as the gateway for economic growth, human development, and a better future. “This project provides you with new classrooms. It is up to each one of you to make the most of your education and the opportunities given to you by the school“.
Since 2002, through UNDP’s Poverty Oriented Employment Generation Programme, more than 600 projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip worth over 83.4 million Euros are supported. While covering various social and economic infrastructure investments based on specific needs, education has always been a main focus of the Programme: hundreds of classrooms including support facilities such as labs, libraries and halls have been constructed in over 70 schools and other educational institutions, thereby alleviating overcrowding in classrooms and reducing double shifts, and thus laying the foundation for further enhancing the quality of education.
In Jerusalem: Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist - UNDP/PAPP, Tel. +972-2-6268229, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org