USAID awards fourth Iraq reconstruction contract

14 April 2003
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on 12 April an initial $2 million, 12-month contract to Creative Associates International Incorporated (CAII)to address immediate educational needs and promote participation of the Iraqi people in a sustainable, decentralised educational system. This is the fourth of a total of eight Iraq reconstruction contracts put out to tender by the USAID since January.

CAII, an international consulting firm with its headquarters in Washington DC, will implement a USAID education assistance programme, called revitalisation of Iraqi schools and stabilisation of education (RISE). The programme is a rapid response effort to increase enrolment and improve the quality of primary and secondary education through short-term immediate impact activities that will lay the foundation for more sustainable reform.

Short-term activities will include development of baseline indicators to measure educational progress, and procuring and distributing essential school materials, equipment and supplies. These materials will be provided in time for the new school year to open, reducing any disruptions in classroom education. Child-centred, participatory teaching methods will be introduced to lay the foundations for democratic practices and attitudes among students, parents and teachers.

CAII will also work to improve teacher training and school leadership programmes, and technical assistance to help reform the educational system. As nearly 25 percent of school-age children are not currently attending school, the RISE initiative will pilot accelerated learning programs throughout Iraq and offer short-term, intensive bridge programmes to help children re-enter the education system at the appropriate grade levels for their ages. The RISE contract does not include production of textbooks. USAID solicitations related to the production of textbooks on certain school subjects will be forthcoming.

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