UNRWA reviews and responds to allegations concerning its educational materials

AMMAN, Friday, July 15, 2022 (WAFA) – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has reviewed a recently released report by IMPACT-se alleging that UNRWA knowingly utilizes educational materials outside of UN values. The Agency review concluded that the self-learning materials cited in the report are not authorized for use in any UNRWA school.

The UNRWA said in a statement that is Deputy Commissioner-General Leni Stenseth informed Agency partners that the report demonstrates the effectiveness of the Agency’s educational programming, particularly the Agency’s cutting-edge Digital Learning Platform (DLP).

Stenseth highlighted that none of the cases cited in the report by IMPACT-se was drawn from the UNRWA online learning platform.

“IMPACT-se is an organization already well known for its previous sensationalized attempts to delegitimize the Agency’s work. Stenseth reminded partners that this organization’s latest report was consistent with its other sensationalized work, characterized in a robust 2021 academic review undertaken by the Georg Eckart Institute on behalf of the European Commission as “marked by generalizing and exaggerated conclusions based on methodological shortcomings,” the statement said.

“In this instance, the group attempted to explain the lack of examples drawn from the UNRWA Digital Learning Platform by observing a paucity of material on the site – a normal occurrence as materials are only available during the lifecycle of their need for students. As UNRWA schools are currently closed for the summer, no material is uploaded on the Agency’s learning platform.”

In reviewing the material referenced in the report though, UNRWA said it discovered the existence of a private, commercial website that illegally utilizes the Agency’s logo and the names of UNRWA educators. The statement said, “The Agency is seeking additional information on these sites for follow-up action, including possible legal referral. Stenseth expressed hope the report’s authors will fully disclose the web addresses of the sites it uncovered.”

Stenseth emphasized the unwavering commitment of UNRWA to educating Palestine refugee children along the UN principles and values and zero tolerance of hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence: “Others talk, UNRWA delivers. Our education system is acknowledged as the model for effective refugee education, delivering quality and cost-efficient education. Reports like these, premised upon smoke and mirrors – obfuscation, not truth – are indicative of an organization trying to garner attention for itself, rather than advancing the cause of refugee education.”

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency