Queen Rania announces launch of Madrasati Phase II

"We have built a circle of trust"

April 13, 2009

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department- Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah on Monday announced the launch of Madrasati Phase II which seeks to renovate and upgrade an additional 100 schools in Jerash, Ajloun, Balqa and Madaba. The schools were selected in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

In an address at the exhibition, which brought together major corporations, NGO's, media personalities and teachers and children from 100 schools, Her Majesty said: "Education is today's most valuable investment. By striving to achieve the best for our children today, we ensure they become a positive force of tomorrow."

Highlighting the importance of building mutual trust among all stakeholders and partners, Queen Rania continued: "(our private partners) trust that these students will produce a brighter future for all of Jordan and these students know that this trust is not a gift; it is a loan they will have to pay back to future generations."

Launched by Queen Rania last April, the ambitious Madrasati (my school) initiative seeks to make education a social responsibility. By pairing corporations and NGOs in a rehabilitation project aimed at renovating 500 dilapidated public schools across the Kingdom, the project is intended to benefit some 165,000 students over five years.

During the first phase of the initiative, Madrasati successfully renovated 100 schools in the Amman and Zarqa areas as well as implementing programmes focused on enhancing the quality of education and upgrading the learning environment.

In addition, 90 active community committees, which are considered an important platform to express needs, explore solutions and share responsibility, are now actively collaborating with local authorities.

Commending the efforts of all those who have made Madrasati possible, Queen Rania continued: "We have built a circle of trust, we are delivering on the promise to build a better learning environment for our children. But if we want our future to be solid, we must continue to strengthen its foundations."

By building partnerships between community members and public and private institutions, Madrasati is now supported by 4 Government Departments, 55 private sector companies and over 15 Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) accounting for 85% of Phase I schools being adopted by a corporate sponsor.

Monday's launch, designed to encourage attendees from the private sector to support selected local schools, saw students set up their own creative booths detailing the needs of their schools, including safety requirements, basic amenities, and heating.

Touring the showroom, Her Majesty stopped by the individual star shaped booths which showcased photographs, drawings, maps and cartoons construed by the young children to illustrate the precarious conditions of their
classrooms and the damage caused by years of neglect.

Madrasati Phase II will continue to strengthen the quality of education by scaling up the established informal education programs launched in the previous phase, (child safety, healthy schools, technology, teachers skills training) whilst ensuring strong inter-linkages and coordination between the implementing partners.

During the ceremony, Madrasati Director Danah Dajani announced that the renovation of Phase II schools is due to begin at the end of this month. Illustrating a show reel of results achieved, which showed significant improvement in the targeted Madrasati schools, Ms. Dajani also said technical needs assessments had already been conducted on Phase II schools.