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The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is launching its International School Twinning Initiative (ISTI), a two-year, $2.4 million pilot phase under the Global Citizens Program.
CIDA will allocate up to a maximum of $30,000 for each Canadian school selected, for direct and overhead costs incurred by the Canadian school. CIDA will manage costs incurred by developing-country schools.
The ISTI aims to engage Canadian and developing-country teachers and students (girls and boys) in a shared learning experience. The ISTI would provide an enriched interactive learning environment to benefit both Canadian and developing-country classrooms, providing students and teachers with:
CIDA seeks proposals to twin classrooms of students in Grades 6 to 8 (aged 11 to 14) for a two- year period. Classrooms would collaborate on a number of project activities across a range of subject matters such as, but not limited to, social studies (that is, nutrition, sanitation, disease prevention), science, geography, history, literature, literacy, cultural studies, extracurricular activities, and so on.
The deadline for submissions was April 29, 2011. For more information, please download the ISTI application guidelines.
The ISTI will fund project activities that take place in real time. Real time refers to social media exchanges occurring simultaneously for both classrooms, though possibly at different times of day for Canadian and developing-country classrooms, depending on time zones. Connectivity could be in the form of video conferencing that allows a real-time (live) exchange to take place.
Only Canadian school boards (or Aboriginal band councils for on-reserve schools), incorporated under the laws of Canada, a province or territory, are eligible to apply for ISTI funding for a project. Applicants must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in their province/territory, or recognized by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for Aboriginal band councils that have selected an on-reserve school.
The proposed Canadian schools must be equipped with information technology infrastructure (that is, high-speed Internet and computers with video conferencing capacity) that enable school twinning activities to take place. Schools should also have an information technology resource person on staff to mitigate issues with school twinning activities. Teachers must be available to take part in a two-week session in Ottawa (July 2011) and in a two-week working session in a developing country (August 2011). Teachers will be required to attend a two-week workshop on lessons learned. This workshop will be held in July/August 2012.
CIDA's Partnerships with Canadians Branch (PWCB) will assess all completed proposals on a comparative basis against the following four principles, which are explained further in the ISTI guidelines:
The deadline for submissions was April 29, 2011.
To ensure transparency and fairness to all applicants, CIDA will not discuss applications until all organizations have been notified of decisions regarding their proposals. Applicants, however, can submit questions regarding the process via email at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. CIDA will post all questions and answers concerning the guidelines on its website. Information posted on the CIDA website, the application guidelines and the Frequently Asked Questions section of the CIDA website represent the only official interpretation of the application.
All applicants will be advised of the results by September 30, 2011. A PWCB officer will contact successful applicants to discuss the contract details. PWCB will also send a letter to all unsuccessful candidates to inform them of the decision.