Development Aid

House of Lords written question – answered at on 19 December 2011.

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Photo of Lord Janner of Braunstone Lord Janner of Braunstone Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether regular scrutiny is applied to educational curricula that are produced with assistance from United Kingdom development aid contributions in the Middle East; and, if so, what is the form of that scrutiny.

Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

The UK does not directly fund the development of education curricula in the Middle East. However, it does support the provision of education in Yemen, the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), and to Palestinian refugees in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

The UK supports basic education in Yemen through financial assistance to a Joint World Bank Trust Fund for Basic Education. The World Bank provides technical assistance and scrutiny over all activities funded under the Basic Education Trust Fund.

In the OPTs, the UK provides financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to provide essential services, including education. All UK financial assistance to the PA is provided through a World Bank Trust Fund, which carries out close monitoring of PA expenditure across all sectors to ensure that the budget is being spent according to Palestinian annual budget law and international standards. Between 2000 and 2005, the Palestinian Curriculum Development Centre, supported by international donors such as UNESCO and Italy, developed a new curriculum, textbooks and teaching materials. Since 2006 all Palestinian school textbooks have been available on line at www.pcdc.edu. ps/textbooks.

Education provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) generally follows the curriculum of the host authorities in which it works, in order to enable students to take local education authority examinations. UNRWA is currently working to improve its education services, including developing curriculum enrichment and staff training, as part of its education reform strategy. In the OPTs, this has included teaching a dedicated human rights programme to all its students. Details of UNRWA curriculum enrichment activities are available online at www.unrwa.org.

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