Queen Rania inspected renovation work in two Madrasati Phase II Schools in Jerash

November 04, 2009

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Jerash) Less than a year ago, two schools in the Governorate of Jerash were suffering from serious infrastructure problems: broken windows, crumbling walls, peeling paintwork, unpaved terrain, inadequate sanitary facilities, poor lighting.

For years, teachers and students at both the Jerash Elementary School for Girls and the Asma Bin Yazeed Elementary School were distracted by their schools’ deplorable conditions.

Queen Rania’s visit to both schools five months ago spurred the construction process conducted by the Madrasati initiative. When Her Majesty, on Wednesday, inspected the completed renovation work, the reality on the ground appeared to be a very different one.

During this second visit to the Jerash Elementary School for Girls, Her Majesty witnessed the noticeable changes which fundamentally improved the overall atmosphere in the school: new toilets, a fun and safe playground, a well-equipped kitchen, painted and fixed infrastructure, and new desks for the children.

A modernized school gate and a protective wall running along the entire perimeter of the school, now ensure children are safe and protected.

Touring the building, Queen Rania also visited individual classrooms. Her Majesty saw the walls had been transformed from grey to lavender and listened to Tamara Qardal, a Sixth Grade girl who described how her school had improved.

Accompanied by Madrasati Director Danah Dajani and CEO of Eastern Holdings Majed Saedi, Her Majesty expressed appreciation for the efforts exerted by the Madrasati team and their partners.

Touring the renovated school, Queen Rania was also briefed by Majed Saedi on the maintenance work and educational games spearheaded by Eastern Holdings, sponsor of the school.

In the meeting, Saedi highlighted the company’s assistance in providing water coolers, playground facilities such as slides and swings as well as health insurance for both students and teachers.

Eastern Holdings will also provide monthly educational activities for the children that will include storytelling and puppet shows as well as field trips resembling the visit to the Aviation Training Centre the company organized last October.

Queen Rania then headed to the nearby Asma Bin Yazeed Elementary School for Girls, accompanied by Yousef Nader, CEO of the Nader Group and sponsor of the school.

Her Majesty checked on progress made at the school and joined a number of local Madrasati volunteers hailing from the All Jordan Youth Commission, the Municipality of Jerash and the nearby vocational training school.

Her Majesty toured the newly paved school yard where a group of volunteers were engaged in mural painting and met a young Jordanian artist, Nadine Lama, who told Her Majesty about her experience working with the school.

Queen Rania also spoke to Ala’a, a volunteer from Al Ahlia University, who explained how a number of University students have been volunteering in other Madrasati schools located in Zarqa.

In a meeting with the teachers at the school, Her Majesty then discussed ways in which the new developments encouraged staff to find creative teaching methods and tools. No longer distracted by crumbling walls and flaking plaster, both teachers and students now concentrate better.

These schools form part of Phase II of Madrasati, which Queen Rania launched in April 2009. Phase II is finalizing construction work on 98 public schools in Jerash, Ajloun, Balqa and Madaba, by harnessing the efforts of the public and private sectors, local community and civil society entities - 80% of the work has already been completed.

The Madrasati initiative is more than just bricks and mortar. Through targeted educational programs and activities, the project seeks a new approach to education, by delivering a high-quality learning environment which fosters creativity and motivation.