Queen Rania tours local schools with UNF Board Members

November 01, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Amman) As a strong supporter of advancing educational opportunities for students and teachers in Jordan, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah did not miss out on the opportunity to showcase Jordanian schools and students to the visiting Board Members of the United Nations Foundation.

The Queen, who recently adopted four schools in Sweileh, Salboud, Ruseifeh and Sabha has highlighted the need to focus on providing a better environment for students. As they toured the Salma bint Abi Hafz and Queen Zein Al Sharaf schools in Amman, Board Members, including Founder and Chairman Ted Turner and President Tim Wirth, were briefed on the Queen’s work in this area.

Enjoying the second day of their three day trip, Board Members are here to discover Jordan and explore opportunities in the Kingdom.

The Salma bint Abi Hafz School, established in 1953, served as a snapshot of the some of the challenges in Jordan. The school, which caters to 180 boys between first and fourth grades, has not been renovated since 1995 among some of its needs are new windows, classroom doors and health and sanitation facilities and having a safe recreational area. Despite the difficult circumstances, the school’s 10 teachers and principal boasted of bright students and their hopes for a better environment where they can assure that every pupil will reach his fullest potential.

The Queen Zein Al Sharaf School, on the other hand, is part of the Jordan Education Initiative Discovery Schools, and has benefited from the public-private partnership that advances learning. The school, which hosts 300 girls from tenth to twelfth grades, has a fully functional computer lab, a big gym which is open to the local community and most importantly well-achieving students that have been recognized for their achievements in sports and education. The school is an excellent example of how public-private and civil society organizations can contribute to a better education. For example, businesses contribute their time, through INJAZ Arabia to encourage students and help in career development.

As Queen Rania continues to shed light on infrastructural challenges in some of the Kingdom’s public schools, she hopes to encourage the private sector, in hand with public institutions, and civil society, to help create a more child friendly environment with access to quality teaching and learning tools.

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.