The Minister points out that not all Arab countries are wealthy, leaving those countries little choice but to invest in Human Relations. She also explains that from a global perspective, competition is open, and the trend towards a knowledge-based society. She believes that education should shift from being teacher-centred to being learner-centred, and identifies the occupation of the Gaza Strip, with its ramifications, as the major obstacle to education in Palestine. She comments that Palestine has gone to great lengths to provide education and has achieved many objectives in this regard. She concludes by referring to a 5 year strategy plan focused on quality education.
Addressing the assembly of delegations and guests, President Abbas said: "Our admission (to UNESCO) is a tremendous source of pride for us […] Palestinian writers, artists and researchers have played a vital role trying to preserve the culture and identity of our people. UNESCO has also played a fundamental role – and has been a loyal partner."
This innovative educational program was established on March 4, 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a visit to Ramallah. Since then, AMIDEAST has managed the A-PLUS program for exceptional students throughout the West Bank and Gaza for study at local Palestinian universities.
UPA's University Scholarship Program has enabled over 2,000 students to attend universities in the West Bank and Gaza. These scholarships allow students to obtain a higher education and pursue a professional career in their chosen field. At the same time, UPA scholarships promote the development a strong, independent Palestinian community by supporting local educational institutions, which are a critical part of any functioning society.