End of January, a four-day specialized online-training program for 24 professors from 11 Palestinian universitieswas held as part of the EU-funded SwitchMed/MED TEST III project. Undertaken by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the objective of the training was to introduce schemes of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) and the UNIDO TEST methodology to academia in Palestine.
The TEST methodology helps industrial companies with a set of tools to systematically approach their production and optimize the use of energy water, raw materials, and packaging. From 2014-to 2018, the SwitchMed/MED TEST II project demonstrated the potential that the TEST methodology could bring to Palestinian companies in reducing resource consumption and costs. The consequential roadmap for scaling-up RECP includes a strategy that aims to incorporate the TEST methodology and RECP practices into the curricula of universities and vocational training centers in Palestine.
“Bringing the TEST methodology into university classrooms will help outfit the next generation of industry professionals and engineers in Palestine. This can bridge the gap between fresh graduates and the industry‘s need for skilled expertise on RECP,” says Said Dwikat, UNIDO National Coordinator in Palestine.
During the four-day training, experts from UNIDO also shared their experience in developing educational curricula in SwitchMed neighbouring partner countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. It was agreed to intensify cooperation among Arab universities in the region using the framework of the regional SwitchMed programme.
At the end of the training, the participants immediately expressed their interest in integrating the TESTmethodology into the teaching courses within the graduation projects and elective courses. In parallel, a study will be conducted to develop a national curriculum that will reference all universities in this field. UNIDO will provide the expertise and technical support required in this framework.
The SwitchMed/MED TEST III project in Palestine is undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of National Economy and the Environmental Quality Authority and plans for 2022 to launch seven industry pilots to demonstrate the potential of RECP.
Image: “Ramallah” by kate nev licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
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