Better learning environments for schoolchildren in Jordan
A sense of everyday normality in uncertain times – this is what Jordan wants to offer the many children who have sought refuge within its borders. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Jordan hosted around 736,000 refugees in 2016, primarily from the neighbouring countries of Syria and Iraq. More than half of the refugees were children and young people. This influx of refugee children has doubled the number of pupils attending Jordan's schools – presenting a challenge for the country’s teachers as well as its infrastructure. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting Jordan’s schools and thus improving children’s learning environments.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the federally owned enterprise GIZ is implementing extensive construction measures at 20 schools. The focus is on sanitation facilities and wastewater systems as well as the schools' outdoor areas. The aim is to create a better learning environment that also caters for the needs of children with disabilities. GIZ plans the modernisation work together with architects from Jordan and implements it with local building companies. This also involves developing structural prototypes to strengthen the technical capacity of the Jordanian Ministry of Education. Work is already ongoing at four schools, benefiting around 4,800 pupils. In all, around 24,000 Syrian and Jordanian children will be able to use the modernised schools by the end of 2019. To keep the schools in good condition in the long term, GIZ is also training caretakers and providing them with tools. For larger-scale repair and maintenance work, they can request assistance from one of 12 new mobile workshops.
The project is also improving the children's overall learning environments. When they are not in lessons, the young refugees can join their Jordanian peers in 'school clubs' where they can try out new kinds of sport, get creative or work on environmental topics. Furthermore, GIZ is promoting inclusion – for example by accompanying disabled children to school or training helpers. Currently, 100 Syrian and Jordanian children with disabilities have benefited from these inclusive care offers and thus have the chance to attend a public school.
GIZ's work helped to give more than 162,000 refugees and IDPs access to a school education between 2010 and 2015. Some 16 million people worldwide have benefited from improved access to sanitation facilities through support from GIZ.