Gaza's Second Learning Communities Conference for the Model Schools Network (MSN) Program was held at the ARCH Med Hotel in Gaza City on June 30. 2011. It was attended by 143 educators from 12 private MSN Schools, as well as guests from education-based organizations in Gaza. Twenty-four presentations by teachers in the subjects of math, science, English and technology took place in the four halls of the conference facility.
A great leadership is the key element behind any success; a leader is that person whom everyone looks up to and trusts his/her judgment. Model Schools Network (MSN) Program funded by USAID and implemented by AMIDEAST believes that in order to accomplish the ultimate goal leaders are needed to leap and lead, people that could ask for your trust one time but not to ask for it again, individuals with leadership characteristics, strong personality and a confidence that can’t be underrated.
It was by coincidence that Shaima' and Rula Hamad, 10th graders, came to the principal's office and asked if they could use the computer lab during an MSN visit to the Al Tereh Girls Secondary School. The MSN team could not but notice the sparkle of passion these two students had in their eyes. The principal, Ms. Abeer Badran, commented: "They are working on research on Palestinian culinary history. They use the computer lab in their free time to compile all the information they gather."
Mrs. Abeer Badran, principal of Al Teereh Secondary Girls’ School, has found a unique and creative way to unleash the students’ imagination, unlock their potential and improve their skills in math and science by creating an exciting and interactive learning environment. The story started with a neglected ground floor storage room, utilized only as a repository for old, unused materials. Mrs. Abeer envisioned a future for that space and decided, with the help of her teachers, to turn it into a math and science club by using the equipment donated by USAID through the Model Schools Network (MSN). This would enable students to explore a new kind of learning experience.
STATEMENT OF WORK
Launched in 2007, the Model Schools Network (MSN) Program is a USAID-funded initiative that aims to build institutional capacity in the Palestinian school system. The MSN Program is focused on developing a school improvement network that will serve as a model for basic education in Palestine. Its initial phase supported 17 private schools in the West Bank between June 2008 and December 2012. The focus of this support was in four program areas:
1) Teacher and administrator professional development;