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26 Jun 2013 12:16 pm
UN signs up to raise basic education standards

UN signs up to raise basic education standards

Libya’s education system is to be bolstered by a new agreement signed yesterday between the Ministry of Education and the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF.

The agreement will kick-start projects, including risk education, the promotion of early childhood care and teacher development, aimed at improving the quality of basic education for all children and adolescents in Libya.

The Minister of Education, Ali Abed, said: “We realise that we need to provide our children with high standards of education.” He added that UNICEF’s support was welcomed.

Abed explained that training programmes were already being implemented to boost teaching standards. “One of the major steps that we have started towards this, is looking at the current human resources and ensuring that we have the right people in the right places,” he said.

A report released earlier this year by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF showed that urgent investment in the country’s schools was needed. Significant shortages in support staff were noted, as well as a lack of facilities in many schools. Libya’s education system has also been criticised by some non-native teachers, who say problems include classroom overcrowding and a lack of teaching and learning materials.

“Quality education for all is fundamental for a peaceful, democratic and productive society,” said UNICEF’s country director Libya, Carel de Rooy. He added that UNICEF commended the Ministry of Education for “tangible achieved results” so far.

The agreement, described as a workplan for sustainable development and cooperation between the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, is a continuation of aid given both during and since the revolution.

“We are very pleased to respond to the needs and requests of the Libyan Government and sign this workplan, so that this joint plan can be operationalised in the best interest of children and adolescents in Libya,” said de Rooy.

The project is being part funded by the Russian and Polish governments, as well as with money from the EU and UNICEF.