Ramallah – On January 28, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Education in cooperation and coordination between MIFTAH and the ministry, aimed at discussing the role of parent councils and ways to revive these councils in areas targeted by MIFTAH’s ‘Tajaawob’ project. Tajaawob is funded by DFID, the Department for International Development, UK, managed by the British Council in partnership with the following organizations: MIFTAH, AMAN, OXFAM and the BBC Media Action, and is implemented in the following areas: Froush Beit Dajan [Jordan Valley], Um Salmuna [Bethlehem], Azoun, Habla and Qalqilya [Qalqilya] and Jerusalem.
According to MIFTAH’s program manager Lamis Shuaibi, the goal of the session was to gather information from parent councils and educational directorates in the targeted areas, about the work of these councils, their roles and the relationships between them and the Ministry of Education and schools. It was also in order to listen to suggestions put forth by parent council representatives on ways to develop their respective councils.
According to Abeer Zaghari, Tajaawob’s project coordinator at MIFTAH, the aim of gathering this information is to prepare an analytical study about parent councils and to revive and develop their role in a way that would improve the quality of education and allow them to play an active and effective role between communities and educational institutions in general.
Zaghari said a number of presentations were made during the meeting in which participants put forth their visions and suggestions on the role these parent councils should have and what they should achieve. The results of the session will be presented in the next phase and will include detailed analytical information about the parent councils and their relationship to educational service providers from official institutions, first and foremost the Ministry of Education. The report will also include a review of all the literature of these councils.
The following people represented the Ministry of Education in the meeting: Habiba Kilani, head of the clubs and social department; Jamal Farhoud, director of the sports and social work department, in addition to researcher Huthayfa Jalamneh.
MIFTAH, meanwhile, was represented by Program Manager Lamis Shuaibi and Abeer Zaghari, MIFTAH’s project coordinator for Tajaawob.
The parent councils from the targeted areaswere represented by the following: Mahmoud Taqatqa, head of the village council in Um Salmuna and member of its parent council; Afaf Shatara, former school principal and member of the parent council in Azoun, Qalqila; Abeer Qirish, member of the parent council in Jerusalem suburb schools [Ezzariyeh]; and Qassem Abu Jaysh, member of the Froush Beit Dajan parent council.
The Tajaawob project was launched in April of last year and aims at empowering and developing civil society institutions and local communities in addition to strengthening their relationships with decision makers and service providers.