The Partnership for Schools Leading Change program has brought 45 educators from 31 private Islamic boarding schools, called pesantren, in various regions of Indonesia to visit schools in diverse communities around the U.S. Twenty-three American schools are participating in the program, in cities and towns as varied as Berkeley (CA), Hilo (HI), Eugene (OR), Hamilton (OH), Indianapolis (IN), Attleboro (MA), Bloomfield (CT), Scarsdale (NY), Fayetteville (NC), and Tampa (FL).
The participants, a number of them Muslim clerics, gathered first in Indonesia for orientation meetings, then spent a week attending a “best practices” workshop at the East-West Center’s Honolulu campus before departing for the schools they will visit. They will then return to Honolulu to compare notes and tour several local schools – including Iolani, La Pietra, Punahou, Academy of the Pacific, and the Pacific Buddhist Academy – before returning home.
Goals of the program include:
- Building professional and personal relationships between the Indonesian and American educators as they work together to develop practical solutions to shared challenges of educating youth for a fulfilled life and responsible citizenship in today’s globalizing world.
- Enhancing American awareness and understanding of Indonesia’s Islamic culture, and improving Indonesian perceptions of the United States, by engaging in informed dialogue and meaningful interactions at the grassroots level.
- Facilitating communication, networking and assistance mechanisms to support ongoing interaction.
Funding for the Partnership for Schools Leading Change program is provided by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Click here for more information on the program.
The EAST-WEST CENTER is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. The Center contributes to a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the Asia Pacific region and the United States. Funding for the Center comes from the U.S. government, with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and the governments of the region.