Palestinian Ministry of Education, AMIDEAST Launch Leadership and Teacher Development Program
Ramallah, West Bank, March 27, 2013 — The Palestinian Ministry of Education (MoE) and AMIDEAST launched the Leadership and Teacher Development (LTD) Program today during a ceremony at the National Institution for Educational Training (NIET). Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Joint Financing Partners (JFPs), the LTD Program will target 300 Palestinian schools in 16 districts in the West Bank.  In attendance were Palestinian Minister of Education Lames Al Alami, United States Consul General Michael Ratney, USAID Mission Director Michael Harvey, Head of the German Representative Office Barbara Wolf, Assistant Deputy Minister of Education Basri Saleh, General Director of NIET Shahinaz Al Far, LTD Chief of Party Chris Shinn,  Capacity Building Program Director at AMIDEAST Said Assaf, and other representatives of the MoE, USAID, and the JFP.
Expressing gratitude for the partnership between the MoE and AMIDEAST, Minister Al Alami noted that the LTD Program would allow the Ministry to continue to focus on planning, particularly in relation to the use of technology in schools and the Ministry’s five-year strategic plan for schools. She also said that the program involves a teacher development initiative, which will be offered in cooperation with Palestinian universities. "What distinguishes this program from others is the significant preparation and activities that have allowed increased collaboration between Ministry departments, as well as the strong partnership between the Ministry and AMIDEAST,” she said.
Minister Al Alami added that it is time to achieve the Ministry’s aims:  adoption of a learner-centered approach in schools, the use of all available resources to benefit students, improvement of methodologies and curricula, and capacity building that enables teachers to meet student needs.  Affirming that school principals are the center of the school leadership concept, she said she looked forward to developing their roles during the course of the LTD Program.
USAID Mission Director Michael Harvey commented that the design of the LTD Program reflects many years of partnership development between all stakeholders and donors. In addition, he noted that he was particularly pleased that the program could be supported by both USAID and the JFPs.
Ms. Barbara Wolf reinforced the importance of expanded cooperation between international partners to achieving coherence within programs, meeting goals, and providing effective programs that contribute to the long-term improvement of education.
U.S. Consul General Michael Ratney described the LTD Program as evidence of the MoE’s strong desire to improve the quality of education in Palestine. He added that funds assigned for programs presented by the American government to the Palestinian people over the past years, particularly in the field of education, signify the commitment of the United States to improving education for Palestinian students. He also complimented the MoE for its continued efforts to enhance education through its strategic plan,
Assistant Deputy Minister Dr. Basri Saleh emphasized the LTD Program’s importance for Ministry policies that support the teaching profession. He emphasized that a strong connection between all program inputs must be achieved in order to generate creative outcomes and give a chance for sustained progress based on the monitoring and evaluation indicators.  
Dr. Said Assaf of AMIDEAST highlighted the key components of the LTD Program, including those related to strengthening the capacity of the MoE on all levels of school-based development, methodology and expected outcomes. He also drew attention to the importance of a supportive team and a skilled principal to the success of school improvement efforts.
Dr. Shahinaz Al Far presented the most important aspects and indicators of the LTD Program to the audience. She underscored the importance of key activities and described their relation to the MoE’s strategic plan. Finally, she also discussed the LTD Program in terms of establishing a national cadre of university teacher educators.
The ceremony concluded with remarks from Raeda Dahdha, a school principal. Noting that she had been skeptical about participating in a program if it involved a theoretical, ”one-size-fits-all” approach, she said she was pleased to see that the LTD Program is based on participatory workshops and on-the-job exercises that would make it practical, realistic, and tailored to the needs of each individual school situation. 
More information about the LTD Program can be found here: /ltd/about-ltd/leadership-and-teacher-development-ltd-program