A worshop, held by Al-Azhar University - Gaza, discussed the requirements STEM teachers face and the qualifications they need in the 21st century. Members of the Olive project provided the participants with expertise on the topic from the project perspective and the participants had the opportunity to give feedback to the project members and ask them questions related to STEM teaching. The workshop included members from the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Science who are developing teachers education and also members from the high administration. One aim of the workshop was to give the participants an opportunity to discuss and comment on the STEM subject teacher study plans in subject focus groups. The workshop was held on 4 August 2021.
During the event, Al-Azhar University president addressed the project and acknowledged the smart way it was designed. He considered the project as vital to both the university and society. Dr. Melad and Dr. Hamdouna welcomed the participants and promised to provide the Olive project with any needed support to achieve its goals. The project director Hille Janhonen-Abruquah illustrated in her presentation how important it is to develop the Al-Azhar University courses to meet the local needs and to collaborate with colleagues to make full use of the expertise of the Olive team. She added that the project offers an opportunity to develop the learning environments in a way that learning is not so dependent on physical classrooms and face-to-face teaching and at the same time ensures quality learning.
In his presentation, Mr. Montaser Al-Halabi, the project coordinator at Al-Azhar University - Gaza, presented the main goals of the project and how it is aligned with the UN's Sustainable development goals in response to the education crisis. In addition, he illustrated the project alignment with the Palestinian education strategic plan 2017-2022 and acknowledged the support the minister of education offers to the STEM Palestine initiative.
Dr. Atta Darwish presented the methodologies and philosophy of the STEM approach and how it is aligned in the study plan of the teacher education. Dr. Hazam Sakeek, the dean of planning and quality assurance, on the other hand, explained the importance of the role of the educator in STEM education, and provided insights into the methods that can be used to convert teaching to learning to respond to the needs of the students in the digital age.