Bank of Palestine and Welfare Association Sign Agreement Launching Zamala Program with Al-Quds Open University

BOP, Welfare Association and Al-Quds Open University signed the Zamala Fellowship Program Agreement for Academic and Professional Development. Zamala has been initiated and financed by BOP and is carried out by Welfare Association in partnership with Palestinian universities. The signing ceremony was attended by BOP Vice Chairman Rushdi Ghalayini, Welfare Association Program Manager Abdallah Abu Kishek, Al-Quds Open University Academic Vice President Dr Samir Al-Najdi, and representatives from the three institutions.

Dr Al-Jundi welcomed the agreement stressing the significance of developing human resources in Al-Quds Open University. He said the university was first established in 1991 under a presidential decree from the late Yasser Arafat. With branches in all Palestinian governorates for easy access of students from all over Palestine, the university provides services to 65,000 male and female students in all academic fields, using latest technology and pedagogical methods.

Abu Kishek from Welfare Association highlighted the importance of the continuity of the program for the realization of its objectives and goals, which will eventually contribute to raising the standards of academic research in local universities. In addition, Zamala Program will train and qualify student to engage in the labor market and contribute to production and development. Furthermore, it will fill in the gap between the higher education sector, the labor sector and the needs of the local and global markets. 

Abu Kihsek also called on private sector and civil society institutions to support and develop Zamala Program for its utmost importance in upgrading the educational process and its outcomes in Palestine. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation to BOP for this initiative and praised the strategic partnership between BOP and Welfare Association.

For his part, Al-Ghalayini said BOP is proud to cooperate with Al-Quds Open University “for it is a distinguished university that has achieved much on the national level through its teaching methodologies and has opened wide horizons for those unable to attend regular classes.” He added the project is being carried out professionally and successfully by Welfare Association. BOP has earmarked about USD 2 million for the five-year Zamala Program.

Within the same context, Al-Ghalayini stated BOP is one of the largest Palestinian institutions employing 650 university male and female graduates during the past five years. He stressed the importance of developing human resources and the quality of education in Palestinian universities.

A discussion on means to enhance joint cooperation between BOP and private sector institution, on the one hand, and between Welfare Association, civil society organizations and educational institutions, on the other, ensued among participants. Participants also addressed the issuer of developing the education system in Palestinian universities in order to cope with the rapid developments in the world.

The Zamala Fellowship Program aims to raise the caliber of education in Palestinian universities through building the capacity and increasing the exposure of university professors by sending them to academic and other professional institutions for a period ranging between one semester to a full year. The program was initiated by BOP and has developed in partnership with Welfare Association, which also finances the program through its Zamala Fund. The program is being carried out in 13 Palestinian universities.

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