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By Manal Quota*
Zeid Bin Haritha is a school in the Jordanian village of Yarqa. In this school, you’ll witness tiny overcrowded classrooms, old broken furniture and over-worked teachers. These are characteristics common across a number of schools in the Governorate of Al-Salt. But, wait! This is not a tragic story filled with heart breaking tales of under resourced schools and low achieving students…
Rather, this is a story of a community of ten schools, spread across two villages, which joined forces to address serious challenges to the delivery of educational services. This process of change began through donor led interventions that introduced guidelines and a framework for school autonomy and community engagement. Yet what this story is really about is how external interventions can be adapted and tailored by local communities to fit their existing social, political and administrative structures. It provides a valuable lesson for communities looking to adopt international best practices – rather than treating them as cookie-cutters; they can be adapted to conform to local circumstances.