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UNOPS partners with EU to improve access to quality inclusive education in East Jerusalem [EN/AR]

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Jerusalem | UNOPS is partnering with the European Union (EU) and Al-Nayzak Organization for Scientific Innovation to increase access to quality inclusive education for Palestinian girls and boys in East Jerusalem, through the construction of the Jerusalem Innovation Park (JIP).

The European Union Representative in Jerusalem, Mr. Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, and the Director of UNOPS in Palestine, Mr. Tokumitsu Kobayashi, and the founder of Al-Nayzak Organization for Scientific Innovation Eng. Aref F. Husseini joined today a ceremony for laying the corner stone of the Jerusalem Innovation Park (JIP) educational complex.

The Jerusalem Innovation Park (JIP) is a flagship educational complex of 5385m2 at the heart of Jerusalem in the Mount of Olives, compromising an innovation, technology and science hub and first of its kind educational facility complex specialized in STEM- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The EU is providing four million EUR out of the 5.6 million EUR which is the total cost of the current phase of the project.

“Education is a fundamental right for every human being and every child but here in East Jerusalem quality education is a challenge. Palestinian children are facing the tough impact of the prolonged Israeli occupation: schools are narrow, classrooms are full, and barriers are numerous. Yet there is always a glimpse of hope! Our support to the ‘Jerusalem Innovation Park’ Program, demonstrates our commitment to basic human rights and to the importance of creative thinking and innovation. This park will spread the culture of science and technology education and innovation in East Jerusalem. It will also help in preserving and maintaining the Palestinian identity of the city,’’ said the EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff during the event.

Jerusalem Innovation Park (JIP) will offer formal educational services through innovative, internationally recognized educational facilities as well as an advanced scientific garden, with an interactive scientific exhibition, a playground, an auditorium, a Fablab and an astronomical observatory, for the benefit of students and the interested public.

The innovation park is expected to open its doors, services, and facilities to the public and innovation community around October 2023.

“UNOPS is honored to join its efforts with the EU on the path to increase access to quality education for Palestinian girls and boys in East Jerusalem,” said the UNOPS Jerusalem Office Director Mr. Tokumitsu Kobayashi. Mr. Kobayashi continued, “UNOPS is also delighted to extend its commitment to team up with a strong-willed organization as Al-Nayzak on its remarkable unique project to bring tangible benefits to the lives of students and citizens through the high-quality services we provide in infrastructure and other services.”

During this phase of the project UNOPS in collaboration with Al-Nayzak Organization for Scientific Innovation will lead the construction and finishing of the main building, and as well as the procurement of furniture and equipment. “This Phase of the JIP is only the beginning for this ambitious project that stands as evidence of the outcome of the continued, fruitful cooperation and efforts made by all the partners to provide East Jerusalem residents with access to highquality inclusive education promoting a culture of science, innovation and excellence.” added the UNOPS Jerusalem Office Director Mr. Tokumitsu Kobayashi Al-Nayzak will be responsible for the development of the educational system, its educational objectives, and the operation of the facility once the construction and furnishing are complete. Eng. Aref Husseini, founder of Al-Nayzak and the JIP, emphasized that this achievement is a result of collective work, shared passion and real partnership between local and international entities which are committed to serve East Jerusalem. Eng. Husseini expressed his deep thanks and gratitude to JIP partners who had a long-term vision, to turn this dream into reality.

ENDS