Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aqaba CMP Schools Welcome USAID Mission Director

Aqaba, Jordan – August 16, 2009 – By: Tamara Hreish, IRD PR Specialist

The Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools (CMP) Program, funded by USAID and implemented by IRD, successfully hosted a visit by the USAID Mission Director, Mr. Jay Knott, along with other USAID representatives, to two schools in the Aqaba area of Southern Jordan. Mr. Jay Knott was received by Dr. Jameel Shekierat, Ministry of Education head of the Aqaba governorate where they visited the Al Disi Secondary Comprehensive Girls School and the Abdullah Bin Qais Basic Boys School. A tour was taken of both schools and distinguished guests met with the members of the Community-Parent-School Coalitions (CPSC) to discuss current relevant issues while showcasing summer initiatives for school and community improvement implemented by the CPSC’s.

The CMP Program develops dynamic, sustainable community-school partnerships that serve as sustainable mechanisms for the institutionalization of participatory approaches to educational reform and create a sense of ownership and responsibility among all stakeholders within the public school system. This project complements the ongoing USAID Jordan School Construction (JSP) project which provides needed rehabilitation to 100 existing public schools and is constructing 28 new schools.

Under CMP, the main goal is to unite the members of the community, students, local private sector, Community Based Organizations, and parents to empower them to work together to benefit the school and the community at large. As a result, CPSC’s were formed, which have greatly aided school improvement efforts and are strengthening the community/school support connections that facilitate life-long learning opportunities and extra-curricular programs within schools. Mr. Kamel Al Khasawnah, principal of the Abdullah Bin Qais Basic Boys School reflected on the improvements that CMP has brought to his school. “CMP has given the parents and the community an opportunity to work together for the benefit of our children. This year’s summer activities were better organized, offered a variety of activities and therefore was more beneficial to the students…all because the parents and community worked together.”

At Al Disi Secondary Comprehensive Girls School, Principal Ms. Suad Awad stated that “the visit by Mr. Jay Knott to our school will strengthen the confidence our parents and community members have in CMP Program.”

“A major goal is to encourage and support CMP Schools to become models for other schools within the neighborhood” said Ms. Samah Goussous, Project Manager for the CMP Program. “We want schools to strive to increase the role of the CPSC within the school and ultimately the community to provide strategic guidance and direction in an accountable and sustainable manner.”

In addition to working in close cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Education (MOE), CMP has formed dynamic partnerships and linkages with groups on the cutting edge of community mobilization and educational advancement in Jordan. CMP partner, The Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education (QREEA), has received considerable national attention for its Teachers’ Award, and has developed, in collaboration with IRD, criteria for community participation in its new Principals’ Award.

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