Everyday life in Palestine, which was occupied and divided by Israel into the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, is still marked by conflicts and constraints. Political tensions, as well as the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and related security measures, have further weakened the already fragile economy. The Palestinian Territories are dependent on international donors. The establishment of a functioning economy is hardly possible due to the Israeli occupation. The United Nations estimates that 30 percent of people in the West Bank and as many as 64 percent in the Gaza Strip are living in poverty. Unemployment in the Gaza Strip is at 50 per cent. Young people and women are particularly affected, with an unemployment rate of over 65 per cent – for young women in Gaza it is even over 85 per cent.
There are only few training opportunities. However, for years there has been an unchanged great interest in improving educational opportunities for adults and, in view of the political difficulties, a surprisingly great capacity for action on the part of the relevant actors. The Palestinian government recognises adult education as a central component of lifelong learning and pursues a strategy to promote adult education. DVV International has been supporting this process since 2009, and has been represented with a country office in Ramallah since 2012 and with a branch office in Gaza since 2013.
Innovative offerings: DVV International supports the development of curricula for innovative educational activities that should help participants to generate income and to defend their interests. Central to this are participatory methods that focus on the interests and experiences of the participants, encourage critical thinking and peaceful conflict resolution.
Qualified professionals: DVV International trains facilitators to become certified professionals in adult education. The training conveys theories and concepts of participatory adult education and enables participants to apply different teaching methods, depending on the topic and needs of learners.
Powerful adult education centres: DVV International supports the facilities of governmental and non-governmental bodies to establish adult education centres and to strategically develop them further. The staff of the centres are supported to analyse training needs, to develop appropriate digital and face-to-face courses, to offer career guidance, to establish contacts with employers and encourage self-help initiatives in their catchment area.
Adult Education Strategy: Since 2010, DVV International has accompanied the Ministry of Education in Ramallah in the development and implementation of a strategy for adult education. After a three-year planning and consultation process, in which numerous relevant experts and decision-makers were involved, in 2013 the strategy was adopted.
Key partners of DVV International in the Palestinian territories are the Ministry of Education, the university “Dar Al Kalima” in Bethlehem as well as local non-governmental organisations and community-based adult education centres that are supported by training and counselling for the diversification of their offerings in the field of adult education, to develop a broader audience and refocus the courses to the needs of the target group. Through workshops, expert panels and advisory bodies, many of the other relevant actors such as universities, labour and social ministries, institutes for teacher training and international organisations are involved in the work and networked.