Queen Rania adopts four schools in the Kingdom

September 24, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Sweileh) The sounds of creeks and crackles of rusted steel and poor infrastructure at the Khawla Bint Tha’laba Primary School in Sweileh will soon be muffled thanks to a surprise visit by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, where the Queen announced that she will be adopting the school, along with three others she has recently visited.

 The Queen’s plans to renovate the four schools and repair the infrastructure will directly benefit the 1,500 students she visited since the beginning of Ramadan. During her recent visits, Her Majesty has focused on providing a better environment for the students. As she inspected the grounds of the Khawla Bint Tha’laba Primary School during Sunday’s surprised visit, the Queen spoke about the reason she is so committed to this issue. “When we invest in education, we are investing in Jordan’s future,” she said.

Her Majesty spoke with members of the press corps saying, “Having a more conducive studying environment is the right of every child, and it is our responsibility to provide that environment.” Queen Rania called for a complete study of the situation of schools in Jordan.

The school, which caters to 351 students, also plays host to one of the Kingdom’s top teachers who last year was awarded the Queen Rania Award for Distinguished Teacher. The students there are also a shining example of the best the Kingdom has to offer.

Beaming with smiles and interacting with their visitor, the children shared their school work with the Queen as they expressed their gratitude in having their school selected for renovation.

All of the school’s 24 teachers have received INTEL training, but the conditions they are working with do not allow for tech-time. The chipped walls of the overcrowded classrooms are infested with mold and the bathrooms are in need of maintenance, as well.

There are over 1.6 million school age children in Jordan and Queen Rania has been an outspoken advocate of improving the quality of education for them. From teacher training to improving the curriculum, Queen Rania hails education as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. She commended the Ministry of Education’s role in providing children with a quality education, and acknowledged the burden of allocating their resources.

Her Majesty also connected with other members of the community when she visited the Community Development Center, which was founded to serve the underprivileged members of Sweileh. Through advocacy, capacity building and empowerment, the center, which relies heavily on community involvement, offers counseling, social work and legal advice.

Talal Al Kodah, the center’s director, said the programs aim to reach all sections of the community, specifically the underprivileged and orphaned children, youth, the elderly and women.

The center also aims to reintegrate working children into schools. An affiliation of the University of Jordan, the center is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and works in partnership with the Jordan Red Crescent and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD).

Her Majesty supported the center’s drive to create income generating projects for the local community as she encouraged the spirit of volunteerism.