From LSE to the Education World Forum
Haneen Qatamesh

Haneen Qatamesh

Chevening Scholar, Occupied Palestinian Territories

As a Palestinian Master’s student and a Chevening Scholar, taking part in the Education World Forum (EWF) was eye opening. The 2016 Forum offered three days of insight and inspiration from leading education pioneers, policy makers, experts, and students.

Being part of the EWF has given me a first-hand chance to understand global perspectives on education and its development, policy making, and the general status of education worldwide by enabling my involvement in an evidence-based dialogue about the future of education.

The various workshops, lectures, and panels offered form a solid foundation for recommendations and practical strategies to develop the education sector in order to cater to the demands of the 21st century. Such developments are key to solve issues in a region like Palestine including overcoming poverty, endowing marginalised groups, protecting children,, empowering women and more importantly decreasing a rife unemployment rate of more than 40% amongst graduates.

Education is an essential building block especially with the current lack of political prospect in Palestine, as it is an economic and developmental power, and it should not be limited to the classroom. It is crucial to reconsider the curriculum and teaching practices and replace them with a system that encourages analytical and critical thinking, communication and debate skills, and research capabilities, as well as continuous and independent learning.

Fundamental approaches can be utilised more effectively amongst education stakeholders in Palestine:  incorporating the civil society, private sector, academic sector, and the government in assessing the market needs and designing long-term education strategies, along with empowering vocational education as a tool to develop the services sector and create job opportunities. Last but not least, the integration of technology in order to enhance education processes is also important, as living in a country with pint-size resources and limitations on movement, technology can be utilised to facilitate access and exposure.

This experience allowed me to have a better vision of what I want to do when I return to my country, which is having a proactive role in developing the education sector and work on implementing projects that will grant Palestinian youth’s development as well as restoring hope in a better future.