Zarqa- Representatives from the Ministry of Education and the European Union (EU) inaugurated on Thursday, 21st March, the renovated Sarrut public school in Zarqa, following months of rehabilitation under the "Back to the Future" project, supported by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU ‘Madad” Fund.
The inauguration ceremony showcased the rehabilitated school and the positive impact on the students. The works include sanitation, painting, electricity, and upgrading of facilities such as the creation of a volleyball court and a courtyard where the children spend time during the school break. The playground was also renovated, including the addition of shade covers for sun protection, as well as the computer lab, the science lab and the library. Altogether, this creates a much-improved learning environment for the students.
The Sarrut public school is one of fourteen public schools in various regions of the Kingdom that have been rehabilitated.
Representatives from the local community and municipality, the EU Delegation, the Ministry of Education and implementing partners participated in the ceremony, in the company of the school director, staff and students.
Mr. Sami Salaita, Ministry of Education's Secretary-General for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said: “Education is a social responsibility; the Ministry has always promoted cooperation and partnership with local and international institutions and organizations to contribute to education for all and overcome the challenges and difficulties of providing educational services to all students and ensuring their access to and education.”
The education of children and youth, together with their engagement and participation in their communities, are the stepping stones to building peaceful societies
Corinne André, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Jordan
Corinne André added: "The EU is focusing in particular on the quality of education. A safe and pleasant school building stimulates the students and stimulates their motivation and learning. That is why the EU helped rehabilitate this school. The school environment is very important. Another important aspect of quality education is human capital and interaction between teachers, students, families and communities to ensure qualitative learning, trust building, as well as respect and mutual understanding among girls and boys from different backgrounds."
Back to the Future project
"Back to the Future" is a regional programme, funded by the EU ‘Madad Fund’ and implemented by a consortium of four international NGOs composed of AVSI, Terre des Hommes Italy, Terre des Hommes Netherlands and War Child Holland.
Overall, the 3 years’ project will support around 22,000 refugee and local vulnerable children through educational activities; as well as, the rehabilitation of 22 public schools in Lebanon and Jordan. Additional activities like advocacy, outreaching and awareness sessions will benefit 50,000 people.
In Jordan, the project was able to support 2,700 Syrian and Jordanian students to stay in school, for example through homework support and remedial classes. In total, 11,700 students benefited from the rehabilitation of the fourteen schools, 25% of them Syrian refugee children.
The project aims to support Jordanian and Syrian children to stay in school, avoiding drop outs, opening up new opportunities for them and helping them engage in their communities.
Nicola Orsini, country representative from AVSI
He continued: "With this support, the project aims to encourage the largest number of students to stay in school and improve their school level, in cooperation with parents, and help them to overcome their vulnerable conditions. The project gives these children a chance of a better future."
For the period 2012-2018, the EU has committed over EUR 386,65 million to strengthen the education sector as a whole: the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (Budget Support/BS, scholarships, Tempus and Erasmus+), the Ministry of Labour (Vocational Training Centres) as well as to help the Ministries, UN agencies and other actors to support Jordan in handling the Syria crisis in the field of basic, vocational and higher education
In parallel, the EU has also supported the Ministry of Social Affairs to establish national child protection safeguards and a mechanism to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse against children.