Education Minister Lays Out Policy Challenges and Goals

The Institute of Community and Public Health has organized a public lecture entitled “School Education up to the University Education” as part of its annual series of public lectures. The lecture was held on November 12, 2016 and presented by Dr. Sabri Saidam, Minister of Education and Higher Education.

In his lecture, Dr. Saidam discussed Palestine's educational realities from school to university education. He pointed out that the majority of the Palestinian younger generation is enrolled in universities in academic educational streams   when compared to vocational and technical education. He noted, however, that vocational graduates’ chances of employment are much higher (92%) compared to university graduates (27%).

When comparing the large number of women students in Palestinian universities with their low presence in the labor market, the Minister was not optimistic as this points to an increasing imbalance in the market. Statistics show that the employment rate among men is 64.5% compared to 16.1% for women.

Dr. Saidam also shed light on the gaps between women and men in the education sector. There is an increasing number of women who work in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education compared to men. "The ministry suffers from a lack of male teachers”, he explained. “The number of applicants who applied for the General Work Exam was 40,000, among them, 35,000 were women applicants".

Regarding efforts to change the ages for compulsory schooling, Dr. Saidam said the Ministry seeks to include kindergartens into its jurisdiction by offering free or semi-free nurseries. This, according to Dr. Saidam, will offer a common base of knowledge that will provide a stronger foundation for equal education and needed abilities to students.