Quality education for all
Title: Improving the Learning Environment at Public Schools in host communities in Jordan (ILEPS)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Cofinancing with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education
Overall term: 2015 to 2022
Nearly one third of Jordan's 9.5 million inhabitants are third-country nationals, many of whom entered the country as refugees. The large number of Syrians in particular has placed a heavy burden on the Jordanian education system: More than 204 public schools are operating in two shifts, teaching Jordanian children in the morning and Syrian children in the afternoon. Teachers are overwhelmed, at times with more than 50 children in one classroom.
The existing infrastructure is not suited for this significant increase in use, damage to school facilities through vandalism is widespread and maintenance costs are high.
In Jordan, 93 per cent of pupils in public schools have access to clean drinking water. However, two thirds of schools do not have functioning toilets and one in three pupils has no opportunity to wash their hands. Soap, for many schools, is also lacking. Due to these insufficient conditions, girls are often not able to maintain adequate monthly hygiene.
The prevalent double-shift system means that social interaction between Syrian and Jordanian pupils is still minimal. As there is simply not enough funding, extracurricular activities that promote creativity and social cohesion are rarely carried out. For this reason, the Ministry of Education has earmarked 20 per cent of school time, or 90 minutes per week, for extracurricular activities. They take place during school hours in all public schools throughout the Kingdom.
Enrolment rates for children with disabilities and learning difficulties are very low, as most schools are neither barrier-free nor inclusive. An adequate school transport system is not in place and there is an overall lack of social awareness for the needs of children with disabilities. A uniform concept for the implementation of inclusive education has not been developed.
The learning environment at public schools in host communities is improved.
Together with the Jordanian partners, the project supports solutions for clean, safe and inclusive learning environments. It receives additional financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The measures focus on the rehabilitation of schools. To this end, the project applies needs-based, structural engineering designs based on models and supports the maintenance of school facilities. To strengthen the inclusive nature of the measures, barrier-free access to schools and extracurricular activities are included in the concept design. A total of 12,500 school children in up to twelve schools are provided access to playgrounds, sports facilities, barrier-free sanitary facilities and school buildings. The project also improves the conditions for the long-term use of sanitary facilities at schools with excessive numbers of pupils. This is achieved through a building management concept that regulates the operation and maintenance of school facilities. With regard to taking the necessary decisions, the Ministry of Education receives support in collecting and using data. The project also helps the Ministry of Education to implement extracurricular activities. Training courses for trainers are also carried out with the objective of implementing the measures nationwide.
The project is part of the BMZ Special Initiative ‘Tackling the root causes of forced displacement, stabilising host regions, supporting refugees’. The measures benefit refugees and host communities alike. In the long term, they mitigate structural causes of displacement such as social inequality or lack of prospects. This project provides an improved learning environment for both Syrian and Jordanian children.
The project primarily targets communities in the north of the country and in large urban areas such as Amman, Irbid and Zarqa, as the majority of refugees settled in these areas. The measures have been implemented in 46 schools with a total of 37,008 Jordanian and 10,482 Syrian children. 48 caretakers have also received training.