ILO’s Know About Business (KAB) educational programme introduced into 20 Palestinian technical colleges

With the aim of creating sustainable jobs, the initiative is part of efforts to promote an entrepreneurial culture among youth and help create and promote small enterprises.

News | 10 October 2016
RAMALLAH, occupied Palestinian territory (ILO News) – The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) and the Palestine for Development Foundation (PsDF) – the social investment subsidiary of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) – announced the introduction of the ILO’s Know About Business (KAB) educational programme into 20 technical colleges in the occupied Palestinian territory, under the umbrella of the ILO/PsDF’s joint Start project. The latter’s objective is the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture among youth and the provision of non-financial support to create and promote small enterprises, with the aim of creating sustainable jobs.

The announcement was made at the end of the first KAB refresher workshop held in Ramallah from 24-29 September 2016. The workshop targeted 25 teachers from selected technical colleges who had previously participated in a KAB “training of trainers” workshop. The most recent workshop was designed to enable them to teach KAB as a compulsory course starting in January 2017.

Minister of MoEHE Sabri Saidam said KAB is consistent with MoEHE’s vision and aspirations of providing Palestinian youth with experience and knowledge to enable them to enter the labour market, and training them on entrepreneurship concepts for them to potentially start their own businesses or become better employees.

“All efforts should be concerted to bridge the gap between our universities and institutes on the one hand, and the labor market on the other,” Saidam said.

“The MoEHE has started pursuing a strategy that encourages students to participate in business and entrepreneurship trainings. We take pride in our partnership with the PIF, through the PsDF, as well as with the ILO in implementing the “Start” project which will lead to the dissemination of entrepreneurship education in all of our technical colleges”, the minister added.

Jamal Haddad, PsDF Director-General, said the PIF founded the PsDF to manage and implement its corporate social projects. “The PsDF aims to invest in human resources through adopting strategical goals to contribute to the development of individuals’ skills and capacities and support them to enter the labour market and fully participate in community life. The PsDF implements a range of programmes to achieve these goals. Among these programs are the ‘Economic Empowerment of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon’ and the ‘Jerusalem Grants’. The “Start” project is an extension of these programmes. What distinguishes the “Start” project is that it targets technical educational institutions where students will be sensitized on self-employment as a potential career option through interactive and participatory teaching techniques. The KAB programme will be incorporated into the curricula of 20 technical colleges all over Palestine following the training of approximately 200 teachers.” Haddad added.

Mounir Kleibo, ILO Representative in Jerusalem, said: “Our activities in the occupied Palestinian territory seek to promote an entrepreneurial culture among young people and provide them with non-financial support services to create and promote small enterprises with the aim of creating sustainable jobs.”

Kleibo said the ILO is proud of its partnership with the PIF and MoEHE to implement the “Start” project. “Start is consistent with our vision of more decent jobs,” he says. “The ILO is currently implementing several programmes and activities in a number of Arab countries, which initially depend on public-private partnerships.”

Kleibo hopes this partnership with the PsDF, PIF and MoEHE will prosper and expand to include similar programmes and activities that contribute effectively to reducing the high youth unemployment rates in Palestine.

Director-General of MoEHE Vocational and Technical Education Jihad Draidi said that the first phase of the project focuses on training teachers on the KAB Programme’s content and methodology to become certified national facilitators. Comprised of eight modules, KAB aims at creating an entrepreneurial culture among technical college’s students to facilitate their entry into the labour market.

“The Start project seeks to help young people engage in the economic life through knowledge, training and practical experience in the preparation and management of income-generating projects,” said Draidi. “The ILO will provide the technical content and global expertise in the training of the Palestinian teachers with the aim of certifying them on the KAB programme. At a later stage, and in cooperation with the PsDF, students will be trained on how to come up with viable business ideas and actually start them.”

“KAB is applied in over 50 countries around the world,” said Rania Bikhazi, the Enterprise Development Specialist in the ILO Regional Office for Arab States in Beirut. “The occupied Palestinian territory is among the first in the Arab region to incorporate the culture of self-employment into vocational training through the Ministry of Labor as well as in technical education through the MoEHE. In partnership with the MoEHE and PsDF, we are rolling-out the programme in Palestinian colleges.”

During the ceremony that was held on 29 September 2016 at the headquarters of the Red Crescent Society in Al Biereh, 25 KAB trainers were given attendance certificates as part of fulfilling their certification requirements.