Cablegate: Micro-Scholarships for English Language Study

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) STATE 040341; B) STATE 40950

1. Post welcomes the micro-scholarships for English
language study initiative outlined in reftel A. This
program will assist post in raising the English
language abilities of an important target audience.

2. Post's outline of plans to start up this program in
Bahrain follow:

-- Program administration/funding: PAS Manama will
issue a grant totaling $18,000 to the American
Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC) to run this
program. ACEC is a local, privately-owned and
operated English language center loosely affiliated
with the Embassy. The Gulf RELO attends ACEC Board
meetings and we have had an English Language Fellow
placed at ACEC for each of the past three years.
One important caveat: ACEC does not have a Dun and
Bradstreet number, which is now a requirement for
all Department-funded grants. We will advise ACEC
to apply for the Dun and Bradstreet number and, upon
its issuance, make preparations to issue the grant.
The Dun and Bradstreet website advises that it takes
up to thirty business days for an organization to
receive their DUNS Number. This will delay the
start up date for this program in Bahrain.

-- Academic content: Post's exceptional junior
English Language Fellow has been offered a position
to remain at ACEC as Academic Director when her ECA-
funded Fellowship ends in June 2004. Post will
request that she be primarily responsible for the
micro-scholarships program, including the academic
content, enrichment activities, and other
requirements during its start-up and implementation
phase. Post appreciates the ability to provide ACEC
with some of the in-country staff costs ($120 per
student as stipulated in reftel A), as it provides
us with the necessary leverage to ensure that the
program will be well-run.

-- Selection: Post will work with ACEC to select
students from up to four secondary schools (two
boys' schools and two girls' schools) that have a
concentration of non-elite, socio-economically
disadvantaged students. We need to request
permission from the Ministry of Education to offer
the scholarships and then develop a selection
process in cooperation with the Ministry - or the
selected schools, per guidance from MinEd. The RELO
and/or the APAO will represent the Ambassador on the
selection committee for these scholarships.

-- Micro-scholarship "calculations": The cost of a
six week course at ACEC totals $305, which includes
all coursebooks and student materials. This
reflects the high cost of living in the Gulf and
Bahrain (e.g., high teacher salaries, facilities
rent and maintenance, and utilities/air
conditioning). As a result, the $18,000 allotment
transferred to post in reftel B will provide
approximately 13-14 scholarships for approximately
eight to nine months of study.

-- Materials: Post looks forward to receiving
ECA's English-in-a-box teaching materials to pass to
ACEC to assist with the curriculum development of
this program. Please advise ASAP when these and
other appropriate materials will be available. ACEC
continually requests materials from post and we
regularly provide Department produced materials.
ACEC would welcome enhancement materials such as
graded readers, posters, paperback novels, U.S.
maps, biographies of American leaders, and U.S. and
state flags.


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