Implemented in partnership with USAID and the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), the Leadership and Teacher Development (LTD) Program was guided by the MoEHE’s priority to invest in Palestinian schools and improve classroom instruction. By 2018, it had introduced innovative approaches to school leadership and professional development that significantly improved learning among 150,000 students in grades five through 10 in 454 schools across the West Bank.
STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS IN PALESTINIAN EDUCATION
LTD worked with school principals and teachers to institutionalize consultative processes of improving education nationwide. In the West Bank, this process involved strategic capacity building and professional development for 2,500 in-service teachers, 454 school principals, and over 100 district leadership team members. In addition, LTD worked with 80 education faculty members at Al-Azhar University in Gaza to enhance the quality of training that the 4,500 students in its Faculty of Education receive.
The LTD Program has contributed to the development of an informed, civic-minded youth population prepared to contribute to national social, economic, and political development.
The LTD Program pursued broad-based approaches to school improvement, focusing on 21st-century, learner-centered instructional and leadership strategies. These approaches built on the accomplishments of previous programs to strengthen the Palestinian education system, including the Model Schools Network (MSN) program implemented by AMIDEAST between 2005–12.
Through its improvement of teaching and learning in the classroom, capacity building for school and district leadership, and support for the MoEHE’s educational reform efforts, the LTD Program has contributed to the development of an informed, civic-minded youth population prepared to contribute to national social, economic, and political development. The program's strategy of working with and through district leadership and school principals to affect change at the school level has had the additional benefit of bringing about greater decentralization of decision-making within the ministry.
CODING IN CLASSROOMS
Among the innovations introduced by the LTD Program was Coding in Classrooms, an initiative that broadly supported the MoEHE’s goal of increasing the role of information and communication technology in the teaching and learning processes. After successfully piloted in 33 schools in Hebron and Ramallah in late 2017, it was expanded at the ministry’s request to include 426 additional schools across the West Bank, reaching 19,479 students.
The initiative has enabled teachers to integrate coding projects within the daily curriculum and has proven to have a significant impact on students’ learning experiences. “[Coding programs] help me in doing my homework in a better way than before," asserts Islam, a student at Ahmed Seder School. "I have learned how to analyze a question or a problem before starting to solve it. In math, I now start out by analyzing the problems because it would be difficult if you tried to solve them as they are.”