Students rejoice in new learning environment

August 20, 2008

(Jordan Times - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania launched the initiative three months ago, which seeks to make education a social responsibility by partnering the public and private sectors for the restoration of 500 schools in desperate need of basic infrastructure and repair.

Under the initiative, final touches are being made at schools in eight governorates after an overall renovation of the buildings and various facilities.

The overhaul included maintenance work on the infrastructure, which will be followed by plans to support educational programmes and extracircular activities.

Infrastructure work has already been completed at some schools, while at others work is due to finish by mid-September.

Students attending these schools immediately noticed the difference and thanked Queen Rania for the initiative and its accomplishments during their morning assembly.

“The difference between what the school used to be and what it is now is clear,” said Rihab Saleh, principal of Iskan Al Dakhiliyeh School.

“The change is 100 per cent; it is not only the paint that is new but also the restrooms, which were completely changed. The windows were widened and replaced by aluminium ones,” she added.

In addition, unusable boards were replaced, as well as classroom doors, lighting and electrical extensions.

The school principal noted that the staircase at the entrance, which was like a trap with either a student or a teacher falling there everyday, was also fixed.

“ Madrasati entered the school and despite the short time, which was the summer holiday, changed it into a safe, sound and motivating environment,” she said, adding that although work is still going on outside, it has not disrupted lessons, she added.

Students and teachers at the Jaber Ben Hayyan Basic School in Ruseifa were also excited about their “new” school.

“The change is more than tremendous… The school was not suitable for learning but now it just whets your appetite for studying,” the students said.

“The renovations covered the restrooms, drinking facilities, paint and electrical work, in addition to the maintenance of boards, tiles, teachers’ rooms and other facilities,” school principal Zakaria Al Safria said.

Ibn Khafaja, another school covered by the initiative, now looks bright and airy with a coat of rose-red paint. Although renovations are still under way, students have received their books and started classes. According and to the principal, 95 per cent of the work already has been done.

Meanwhile, Al Hadiqa Coeducational Basic School in Zarqa, which Queen Rania visited at the launch of the initiative, has been transformed.

The school, which operates on the two-shift system, had cracked ceilings with bits of plaster constantly dropping on students’ heads.

One student told the Queen during her visit to the school about an incident where a window fell on the head of a classmate.

The renovations at the school reflect the actual goals of the initiative by providing the 600 grade 1-4 students with an appropriate learning environment.

The first stage of the Madrasati Initiative should be complete by mid-September, with renovations implemented in 100 schools.

The maintenance work was the outcome of cooperation between the Royal Court building department and the government building department.