The vocational and technical education is a key to national development and a main contributor to economic prosperity and social stability, which requires from the various institutions and stakeholders, including the government, the civil society, and private sector to work in complete partnership and coordination, in order to promote this sector. It is also considered that the institutions and actors in this sector are the cornerstone of its development and providing it with the capabilities and the needed resources including human, technical and financial resources. One of these institutions is the League of Vocational Education & Training (League), which is composed of a group of educational and training non-governmental non-profit institutions operating in the sector of education and technical training in Palestine for decades.
Establishment of the League
The origins of the idea of founding the League began in the mid-seventies of the last century when a committee known as the “Principals of the Secondary Schools in the West Bank” was formed from four public schools and two private schools as well as a private vocational training center. These included Nablus Industrial Secondary School, Tulkarem Secondary Industrial School of Deir Dibwan Industrial Secondary School, Abdullah Bin Al Hussein School in Jerusalem and the Industrial Secondary School in Jerusalem , the Salesian Industrial School, and the Lutheran Vocational Training Center in Jerusalem/. The committee was founded by Mr. Hassan Al Qiq, the principal of the High School in Jerusalem, in cooperation and coordination with the Directorate of Education of Ramallah where Mr. Hashem Asahaer was the director of industrial education of a small number of schools at that time.
The Committee worked in a spirit of cooperation between governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations which were part of charities working in the education sector and vocational training in the West Bank. The Committee worked hard to provide school books, publications and scheduling of the school year and coordinated efforts in the general secondary examination by bringing textbooks and curricula from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan due to resources scarcity. The committee operated at that time as the national semi-official body under the auspices of the Directorate of Education in Ramallah as a to address the obstacles and problems of the industrial schools from 1976 until 1979.
After the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and consequently taking over the responsibility of the general education including the industrial education and vocational training in early 1995, the Palestinian National Authority has worked hard to develop public education and paid the vocational and technical education special attention reflected in the significant increase in the number of industrial schools in the West Bank and Gaza and the re-involvement of non - governmental organizations in all activities carried out by the Ministry.
After the approval n of the National Strategy of Education and Vocational Training by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Ministry of labor in early 1999, the nongovernmental vocational and educational training organizations in Palestine called to unite their efforts which resulted in the establishment of Vocational Educational Training League in the year 2003. In 2008 the TVET League was registered as a legal entity.
The League is represented in different national committees, and the current headquarter of the league is in the city of Ramallah. In the beginning the League was formed from seven institutions including two industrial schools and five vocational centers in the major cities of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and Gaza. The league was then expanded to include in its membership Sixteen institutions, these include:
- YMCA/ Jericho
- Jerusalem Industrial Secondary School/ Arabian Orphan/ Jerusalem
- Continuing Education Program/ Dar-Al Kalima College/ Bethlehem
- YWCA/ Jerusalem
- YWCA/ Ramallah
- Episcopal Technology and Vocational Center- Anglican School/ Ramallah
- Al-Bir Society for Martyrs Sons/ Jericho
- Vocational Training Center/ Silesian Industrial School/ Bethlehem
- Vocational Training Center/ Lutheran World Federation/ Jerusalem
- Vocational Training Center/ Lutheran World Federation/ Ramallah
- Vocational Training Program/ Hisham Hijawi College of Technology/ Nablus
- Talita Kumi Technical College / Beit Jala
- Continuing Education Program- Palestine Polytechnic Uversity/ Hebron
- Vocational Training Center/ Churches Council/ Gaza
- Vocational Training Center/ Inash ALusra /Ramallah
- Vocational Training Center/ Ai-Amal Association for the Deaf
As noted from the list of member institutions of the League, many of these institutions are geographically spread, and they are providing training and education to young men and women from all regions of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. Furthermore, many of these institutions have started to provide services for more than a century. The members of the League offer training services for the rehabilitation of Palestinian youth and graduate skilled professionals to serve the Palestinian labor market in various disciplines. In addition, they have provided and still provide many training programs to build the capacities of workers in the labor market. Most importantly, the League members contributed to the discussion and efforts to develop the national strategy for education and vocational training in Palestine.