During the visit, The President of Birzeit University, Dr. Abdul-Latif Abu Hijleh, introduced the Birzeit University and the role it plays in serving the local community, stressing the interest of the university to develop its relations with various universities around the world. He also spoke about the challenges the university faces in light of the occupation practices and the global corona pandemic.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Olive project, funded by HEI ICI, a funding instrument by Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, administered by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The meeting included many colleagues from the project's partner universities, namely the University of Helsinki, represented by the project director, Hille Janhonen-Abruquah, the University of Eastern Finland, represented by Teemu Valtonen and Al-Azhar University in Gaza represented by engineer Montasser Al-Halabi and other colleagues.
The project aims to develop teacher training programmes and improve the quality of school education in Palestine, which can be achieved through narrowing the digital divide and enhancing access to knowledge for all. It also aims to stimulate the comprehensive transformation of teacher education and qualification, which equips students with the necessary skills for the effective use of modern technologies and online learning tools. It also helps students to develop diverse experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills as well as in key general skills and competencies such as lifelong learning skills and twenty-first century skills that focus on areas of cooperation, problem solving, critical thinking, self-learning, and the use of communication and information communication technology (ICT) techniques.