Clean Schools for All

Programme description

Title: Improving the learning environment at public schools in host communities in Jordan (ILEPS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the special initiative on tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilising host regions and supporting refugees, Cofinancing with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

Sonderinitiative „Fluchtursachen bekämpfen – Flüchtlinge reintegrieren“. Jordanien. Grundschulkinder der Pilotschule Fatima Bint Al-Yaman in Huwara, Irbid stellen sich zur traditionellen Eröffnungszeremonie „tabour“ auf. © GIZ


Since its outbreak in 2011, the civil war in Syria has driven around 4.8 million people out of the country, mostly to the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. More than 670,000 Syrians had been officially registered in Jordan alone by 2019, though the Jordanian Government believes that as many as 1.4 million Syrian refugees may now be living in the country. More than 195,000 of these are children of school age. They learn primarily in what are known as double-shift schools in the host communities. Many schools were already overcrowded before the inclusion of Syrian schoolchildren, and the challenges are now becoming even greater due to increasing numbers of pupils. The result is overstretched administrative structures and overwhelmed teaching staff. The high-maintenance area of water, sanitation and hygiene, in particular, is increasingly being neglected. Overcrowded classrooms and shortened timetables leave teaching staff with little scope to offer creative activities and address the needs of the pupils.

Children and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities are often unable to attend school at all due to the lack of barrier-free access, transport options and support services. These children and young people also often face stigmatisation and discrimination.


The learning environment at public schools in the host communities has improved.


On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and with cofinancing from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports solutions for clean, safe and inclusive learning environments together with Jordanian partners. The core activities are the building and rehabilitation of low-maintenance sanitation facilities, which will ensure improved and sustainable wastewater and hygiene management at the schools. The Ministry of Education is also advised on maintenance work and the repair of schools.

Sonderinitiative „Fluchtursachen bekämpfen – Flüchtlinge reintegrieren“. Jordanien. Durch gemeinsames Spielen auf dem Schulhof lernen sich die Schulkinder der Pilotschule Ajnadeen in Al Barha, Irbid kennen. © GIZ

At eight pilot schools, the sanitation facilities are being adapted to the growing number of pupils as well as to the national hygiene standards and to gender-specific and inclusive requirements. In addition, sports facilities and gardens are being renovated to allow schoolchildren to participate in extracurricular activities. The project has developed this approach together with the Ministry of Education and summarised it in a manual. In an initial pilot phase, the activities are currently being implemented and evaluated at 13 schools in close consultation with the teaching staff, parents and schoolchildren.

The project is establishing mobile workshops – known as mobile maintenance units – in 16 directorates in the country. In early 2018, the school authorities received mobile maintenance units to ensure that sustainable maintenance and repairs can be carried out at the schools. A steering structure to monitor the implementation of the joint maintenance scheme is currently being implemented.


The project focused primarily on communities in the north of the country as well as on the large urban areas of Amman, Irbid and Zarqa, as the majority of refugees were hosted in these regions. The measures were implemented at 16 schools with a total of 10,715 Jordanian and 5,343 Syrian children. The maintenance and repair scheme will be extended to a further 50 schools, allowing up to 50,000 schoolchildren to benefit from an improved learning environment.