AR Congressman, UK Member of Parliament Forge Partnership with High Schools

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Washington, October 5, 2018 | comments
AR Congressman, UK Member of Parliament Forge Partnership with High Schools


American and British lawmakers speak the same language, even politically.

That's the message an Arkansas congressman and a member of Parliament are trying to bring to students in both countries.

In March, U.S. Rep. French Hill and U.K. MP Rehman Chishti announced a high school in each of their constituencies would team up to share history, politics and everyday life. 

It's based on their own relationship.

"Our two great countries have so much in common," Chishti said.

The MP and Hill met when they were appointed to the British-American Parliamentary Group.

As part of the exchange program, Chishti came across the pond to Arkansas last summer. One of first places Hill took him was Little Rock Central High School.

"We came up with the idea, and then I left it to French to make it happen," Chishti said. "He put the principals in touch, and he visited my school in February." 

It turned into a partnership between two high schools, Central High and Rainham Mark Grammar in the U.K.

"That could create a whole new pathway for students in either country," Hill said. 

The students connect through virtual learning to talk everything from foreign policy to civil rights to current events.

"And how we can work together to resolve them so it's not simply parliamentarians to parliamentarians," Chishti said. 

Then when these future generations graduate, Hill said they could have a hand in economic, national security and cultural ties.

"The U.S. and the U.K. partnership in the post-WWII world has led to not only freedom and trade expansion but the elimination of poverty for billions," the congressman said.

"Everyone wants the same thing: jobs, opportunity, prosperity, security," Chishti said. "You have to get people connected people to people. What you soon realize is you have a lot more in common than you don't."

Other than education, Chishti and Hill are working to build economic and military relationships between their communities. 
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