World TVET Database - Country Profiles

Palestine

TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
Palestine
published: 2012-11-04

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET strategy

The Palestinian Authority inherited an out-dated, obsolete TVET system designed to train low-skilled workers to meet the needs of the Israeli labour market. That is why a decision was made to give high priority to sustainable development in Palestine and to revise the TVET strategy developed in 1999.

The National TVET Strategy 2010 was developed by Palestinian TVET specialists. It reflects an important paradigm shift of recent years which places quality and relevance of TVET as its priority. The new structure follows the inner logic of a consistent and feasible TVET system. It integrates the labour market in all parts of the TVET system.

The overall objective of the National TVET Strategy is to create a knowledgeable, competent, motivated, entrepreneurial, adaptable, creative and innovative workforce in Palestine. A skilled workforce is expected to contribute to poverty reduction; and social and economic development through facilitating a demand-driven, high quality TVET relevant to all sectors of the economy, at all levels and to all people. A National Qualifications Framework (NQF) will allow for mobility of TVET students within the entire education system through comparable education levels and accreditation of graduation certificates.

The Education Development Strategic Plan 2008 – 2012 identifies a number of challenges facing higher and TVET education such as low enrolment levels and the lack of access. “Enrolment in secondary vocational education is still low, only 5.06% of the total number of students in the secondary cycle in 2007/2008, up from 4% in 1999/2000. Although the percentage of female students of the total number of students in secondary vocational education increased, it still remained at (33.5%).” (Fannoun, 2008, p. 39) TVET suffers from low esteem in society as it is considered an alternative path for those who failed the general branch of secondary education. There is little career counselling and career guidance which exacerbates the low regard of non-tradition programmes. A further challenge consists of better linking TVET with the diverse needs of the labour market.

The Employment Strategy puts an emphasis on coordinated government policies. Therefore, the Strategy seeks to identify areas of government cooperation and coordination with the National TVET Strategy. All employment-related developments are to create a demand-driven and business-oriented TVET. The Employment Strategy concentrates on public-private partnerships which extend to its TVET approach. It also recognises the need for developing adequate government infrastructure needed for creating a labour-demand driven TVET.

TVET legislation

The Palestinian Authority (PA) deferred the development of a general education law until the general status negotiations for the territories are completed. Similarly, there is currently no specific law governing the TVET system. There is a large number of rules and regulations for different aspects of education (some date back to the Egyptian and Jordanian rule). These need to be modernised and updated, as well as classified under clear topics to facilitate their retrieval. (UNESCO, 2011)


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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled UNESCO-UNEVOC from Torino Process 2010 – Occupied Palestinian Territories, European Training Foundation, 2010.

Formal TVET systems

Following ten years of basic education, students can proceed with secondary vocational education. Vocational secondary schools offer two-year programmes that produce skilled craftspeople. At tertiary level, vocational school graduates can continue their education in university colleges and most universities. Colleges provide two-year courses training technicians while universities and university colleges educate specialists. The formal TVET system allows students to continue their education at university level while non-formal TVET system provides little opportunity for further education (ETF, 2010).

TVET programs and schemes:

  • 4-5 year bachelor degree;
  • 2 year technical / community colleges diploma;
  • 2 year full-time vocational secondary stream;
  • Applied stream; and
  • Apprenticeship scheme.
Non-formal and informal TVET systems

Initiatives in non-formal education and adult learning are implemented by MoEHE and the Ministry of Labour in cooperation with the labour unions, the Ministry for Social Affairs, the Ministry of Women Affairs, NGOs and university organisations (UNESCO, 2011).

Furthermore, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) offers training for Palestinians registered as refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. It runs ten TVET centres with the capacity of training 6,600 students. UNRWA training centres offer the following types of courses: trade (2 years), technical/semi-professional (2 years) and certificate courses (1 -2 years). The UNRWA TVET programme also runs short-term courses (8-40 weeks) that focus on improving refugees’ existing training skills or provides basic technical skills to untrained trainees. Besides running TVET training, UNWRA offers career guidance and conducts student surveys monitoring graduates’ professional development.

Apprenticeships between business and TVET schools are organised in certain fields, such as automobile maintenance and hospitality. However, education and business cooperation is not yet institutionalised but based on individual endeavours. The challenges facing coordinated public-private partnerships in TVET education are due to a high fragmentation of organisations representing the private and academic sectors, mainly family-owned small and medium businesses, a wide range of overlapping TVET programmes provided by a variety of TVET institutions and a lack of tracer studies following graduates as they seek employment (ETF, 2010).

Community Based Training for Self-employment and Enterprise Creation (CBTSEC) is a GIZ-supported initiative in the area of social partnerships at local level. The aim of CBTSEC is to provide individuals with necessary technical and entrepreneurial skills and support services guiding them to establish self-employment or income-generating activities at the local level. The training is open to employees seeking to improve their entrepreneurial skills. In order to convey the training, a community-based system is in place integrating different stakeholders. The local population and organisations are involved in identifying potential business or self-employment opportunities. CBTSEC was started in November 2009 and is running in four areas (Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron).

There are currently no mechanisms to recognise informal occupational learning (World Bank, 2010)


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3. Governance and financing

Governance

Education is one of the largest services provided by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) is in charge of funding and administration of public schools, in addition to supervising schools in the private sector. In 2006/07, MoEHE run 76% of all schools in Palestine, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) run 12.3%, whereas the private sector run 11.7% of the total number of schools in addition to all kindergartens (MoEHE, 2008).

The main bodies providing TVET training are:

  • Governmental Sector (Ministry of Education & Higher Education (MOEHE); Ministry of Labor (MOL); Ministry of Social Affairs)
  • UNRWA
  • NGO's
  • Private Sector
As part of the National TVET Strategy, a governance structure for the TVET system has been set up. The establishment of two management bodies marked a very important step in establishing cooperation and coordination in TVET. The Higher Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training was established in 2005. The council was composed of 16 members made up of representatives from the private and public TVET bodies. The Council was chaired in rotation between the MOEHE and the MOL. Additionally to the Higher Council, the Executive Board consisting of technical and decision making members of the Council are in charge of TVET implementing the National TVET Strategy, coordination with the different training providers and relevant stakeholders, and proposing regulations, procedures and standards.

However, following the 2006 legislative elections and subsequent political obstacles the Higher Council for TVET has been put on hold and the Executive Board met only three times since its establishment. “Hence, the system is still suffering from the absence of policy setting mechanisms, the necessary legislation, and the commitment of the main providers - namely, the MOEHE and the MOL - to abide by the main objectives and directions of the national strategy. Nevertheless, the structures and the intentions are clear and appropriate, even though they have not been implemented.” (Bekhradnia, Faramand and Kuhali, 2008, p. 25)

As a way of improving the linkages between training and the needs of the labour market, local employment and TVET Councils (LET Councils) were established in 2009. They are non-formal local bodies that serve as discussion platforms for political decision makers and social partners in TVET. They are also in charge of overseeing the implementation of a modern TVET system, interrelating the local labour market, local employment services and local TVET; and creating mutual understanding of employment, unemployment and self-employment among TVET stakeholders. They encourage social and economic partners to take over responsibility for social development and improvement of the labour market; and support governmental and non-governmental institutions in developing labour market strategies and action plans.

Financing

The National TVET Strategy (2010) sets out five sources of funding for the system:

  • Course fees - The financial participation of students in the TVET system is considered an important aspect of TVET financing. Students are required to pay a course fee to cover their TVET training. The National Strategy for TVET provides a justification for the tuition fees pointing out that TVET graduates benefit from higher income and should therefore carry the budgetary burden for TVET system. However, alternative funding (loans, scholarships) is available for those who are unable to pay for their TVET training.
  • Government contributions - The government is to provide funding for the TVET system from the annual budget.
  • National Training Fund (NTF) - The Fund`s main function will be to receive funding from the TVET system and allocate it according to decisions made by the Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The funding will be allocated according to performance and quality standards of TVET programmes and services.
  • National and international grants and donations - Grants and donations can be made to public or private TVET institutions or the National Training Fund. Since funding of TVET programmes is comparatively higher, all grants and donations to the system are welcome. However, they have to comply with the priorities set out in the National Strategy for TVET.
  • Income-generating activities of TVET institutions - TVET institutions are expected to cover a substantial share of their running costs through income-generating activities. According to a set of guidelines, TVET providers may sell their products or act as subcontractors to other suppliers. Ideally, in-class teaching should be supplemented by hands-on work experience. However, income-generating activities should not interfere and decrease the quality of training. Therefore, it is suggested that TVET institutions are separated into a production and a training centre.


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4. TVET teachers and trainers

The Teacher Education Strategy was approved by the Ministry of Higher Education in 2008. The paper was developed by the Education Reference Group (TERG) consisting of 14 teacher education experts. The group reviewed relevant statistical information, made study visits and considered international trends in teacher education. A Teacher Education Consultative Group (TECG) headed by the Minister of Education was appointed to review reports submitted by TERG. The semi-final draft was further reviewed by Palestinian educators and experts (MoEHE, 2008).

The Strategy focuses on:

The Teacher Education Strategy (2008) gives recommendations for teacher training at all levels but does not outline a specific framework for TVET. Its recommendations are complementary to the Human Resource Development (HRD) section of the National TVET Strategy (2010) which sets out to “develop, enhance, qualify and retain all TVET manpower” (2010, p. 32). The section sets out a framework for enhancing the qualifications of head masters, teachers, administrators, support staff, teacher trainers, system developers and all those involved in the TVET system.

The following aspects are addressed with regard to HRD:

  • Establishment of National Human Resource development Unit in charge of monitoring HR needs of the TVET system and matching them with existing HR providers in the field;
  • On-going training for operational and management staff of the TVET system;
  • Provision of TVET teacher training according to a standardised format of accreditation, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Pre/in- service TVET training that concentrates on subject and pedagogical qualifications;
  • Establishment of a Committee for Human Resource Development in charge of planning, policy-making and coordination in HRD;
  • Incentives to encourage TVET staff to participate in HRD measures;
  • Financing the HRD aspect of TVET;
  • TVET HR qualifications framework running in-line with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the Teacher Education Strategy; and
  • Development of a new salary scheme according to the qualifications framework.
There is a range of other initiatives, such as the Know About Business (KAB) programme (http://kab.itcilo.org/en) which is an ILO-supported training for TVET teachers and trainers in Palestine. It is based on a 120-hour course that integrates entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation and competencies in curricula for students between the ages of 15 and 18.


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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The German-funded regional TVET Project was set up to establish a TVET platform for regional TVET reform. The project ran in two phases (1st phase: 2003 - 2007 and 2nd phase: 2007 – 2011). Participating countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria) cooperated in three main areas:

  • Consolidation of the TVET regional network;
  • Regional use of an Arab Occupational Classification standard (AOC); and
  • Qualification of TVET multipliers (ToT).
One of the project outcomes is the Arabic Glossary for TVET Curricula Terms aiming to facilitate TVET-specific communication. It targets TVET teachers and trainers, as well as curricula developers.

The Arab Occupational Qualification (AOC) adopted in 2008 provides a system for collecting and organising vocational titles and establishes a common understanding of vocational structures for the labour force by outlining the type of work executed and the level of skill required.

The National Qualifications Framework(NQF) will be aligned to the AOC and will link all its job descriptions with the required qualifications. The Framework that is currently being developed (2012) aims to support the formulation of learning outcomes, improve understanding of qualifications, levels of qualifications and their relation to each other. The NQF will establish a comprehensive accreditation system and an assessment and incentive scheme encouraging life-long learning. The Framework also seeks to improve educational mobility, make education and training more responsive to the needs of the labour market, align Palestinian qualifications with international standards and improve the quality of education.

Quality assurance

The National TVET Strategy 2010 anticipates the development of a quality system that “will be used for all components of the TVET system, including internal and external evaluations to ensure the quality of the output.”

The Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission (AQAC) under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education is in charge of ensuring quality in TVET. The Strategy recognises that TVET accreditation and quality assurance responsibilities must be defined to be realised within AQAC. The AQAC is expected to approve and maintain the quality criteria, develop the quality standards, accredit TVET institutions and programs, monitor and evaluate TVET institutions and programs to ensure adherence to quality standards. TVET responsibilities and tasks in AQAC will be linked to Higher Council and managed by a steering committee that includes representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Labour, labour and trade unions, experts from TVET institutions, and will have subunits and/or qualified staff to implement the roles and tasks of the unit.


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6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

A wide range of TVET-related areas are currently being reviewed and developed (ETF, 2010):

  • National Qualifications Framework (NQF);
  • Quality assurance system;
  • Teacher training;
  • Curriculum development; and
  • TVET infrastructure diversification and improvement.
Challenges

Some challenges of the TVET system have been articulated in the Economic Monitoring Report (World Bank, 2011).

  • TVET programmes that do not reflect a modern, hands-on approach but are still based on traditional teaching methods;
  • Public-private partnerships are not yet institutionalized;
  • Small number of Palestinian youth chooses the TVET track – TVET suffers from low appeal among Palestinian youth;
  • High overload for TVET teachers and trainers; and
  • Mismatch between skills offered by a high number of unemployed youth and the skills demanded by the labour market.


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7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)


2005

2010

3.56
4.04
Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+2.72 %


For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
1.75 1.80
female male  
1.99 2.05
female male  

49.27 %

49.24 %



Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision


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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions


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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations

References

Further reading

Abbreviations

  • AOC - Arab Occupational Qualification
  • AQAC - Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission
  • GIZ - German Society for International Development (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
  • ILO - International Labour Organisation
  • NTF - National Training Fund
  • NQF - National Qualification Framework
  • PNA - Palestinian National Authority
  • UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees




Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2012-11-04
Validated by: Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE Palestine)



page date 2017-05-05

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