USAID Awards School Improvement Program to AMIDEAST

Four-year, $20.0 Million Project to Improve Educational Access, Youth Development Opportunities in the West Bank

Washington, DC, April 16, 2013 — AMIDEAST is pleased to announce that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected it to implement a four-year initiative that will provide support for 50 Palestinian public and private schools. The School Improvement Program (SIP) will focus on strengthening leadership, teaching quality, and community engagement in these schools. In addition, the program will provide career guidance, life skills training, and experiential learning in order to overcome low student achievement.

"We are gratified that USAID has selected AMIDEAST to manage this project, which will contribute significantly to strengthening the capacity of Palestinian schools.  An educational system that instills the value of life-long learning is the foundation stone of any nation or state that hopes to succeed in the 21st century," said AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore H. Kattouf.

SIP is the latest in a series of initiatives through which AMIDEAST has directly supported the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to introduce reforms and strengthen institutional capacity in the education sector. AMIDEAST is currently implementing two other USAID-funded programs:  the Leadership and Teacher Development Program, which seeks to improve approaches to teacher education and development, and the Palestinian Faculty Development Program, funded by USAID and the Open Society Institute (OSI), which addresses long-term issues of reform in teaching and learning practices in Palestinian higher education. In addition, AMIDEAST is now concluding its work on the USAID-funded Model Schools Network Program, begun in 2007, which aimed at improving basic education by introducing a model of educational leadership in a 69-school network of “model” schools.

AMIDEAST will partner with Save the Children to implement a substantial extracurricular activities component of SIP in participating schools, and with the University of Massachusetts to arrange U.S. study tours that enable Palestinian educators to learn firsthand about successful teaching approaches that have been introduced in the state of Massachusetts’ educational system.