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Towards A Knowledge Society in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the 21st century
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May 14, 2012

Monday, May 14th at 5:00 pm

After 6 years, Amjad Shehadeh, international Ph.d. Student at the ICT&S Center will leave us at the end of May. He completed his dissertation and will lecture about it on Monday, May 14th at 5 pm at the ICT&S Center in the big kolleg.

In this lecture he will talk about the Palestinian people, who - in their search for better society - invested in the ICTs to increase the knowledge capital and improve productivity and creativity with the hope to be a knowledge society. Although they reached, a high internet penetration rate (39% of household, comparable with the region) and high literacy rate (97.9%) the use of ICTs was not successful to a certain extent due to many reasons that had nothing to do with the technology itself. The research investigated the concept of knowledge society in the Palestinian context and found that, because of many barriers of development like the Israeli occupation, other societal factors, like the lack of vision, lack of  freedoms, international donation, and corruption, the availability of ICTs did not help to bring the Palestinian society closer to be a knowledge society. In addition, it was found that education (basic and university) OPT is not yet directed to 21st century competence requirements, thus decreasing their competitiveness globally.  Besides, there is very little linkage between universities R&D output and industry and therefore developing the economy. As a result, the study found that OPT still far from being a knowledge society.

The study recommends a educational reform to be focused on the 21st skills, enhance the research and development activities at universities and research centres by increasing the spending on R&D. besides, there is an need for cultural reform that fights corruption and enhance the role of civil society in OPT and promote freedoms (freedom of media and press) in order to achieve development.

Amjad Shehadeh

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