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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Queen Rania launches plan to renovate Jordan’s public school.

 (Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah launched, Tuesday, a new plan to renovate Jordan’s public schools and improve the learning environment. “Madrasati”, Queen Rania’s latest initiative, will build a partnership between community members and public and private institutions, to upgrade at least 500 of the Kingdom’s public schools.

The students in attendance, from 100 different schools, were all abuzz with raw energy as they individually reached out to members of the private sector to detail the needs of their schools, including safety requirements, basic amenities, and heating. CEOs and presidents, NGO representatives and media personalities were pulled in multiple directions by students vying for their attention and commitments.

Students had set up their own dynamic booths across the showroom so that potential donors could visualize the unimaginable damage caused by years of neglect to many of these schools. Over the next five years at least 163,000 students will benefit directly from Madrasati. 

In announcing the groundbreaking initiative, Queen Rania said, “Today our schools have become a social responsibility. It is the responsibility of every active citizen and every organization working to improve the standard of living in Jordan, and every company- private or public- that wants a hand shaping the future of our youth.”

Madrasati is based on the principles of participation and partnership and relies on the help of private schools and companies to renovate the public schools, which are in desperate need of basic infrastructure and repair, and to improve the general environment.

Queen Rania urged them to rise to the responsibility saying “We’re not looking to only make education available to all, but to improve the environment in which we provide the education. Everyone has a right to proper schooling at the hands of inspired and inspiring teachers because when it comes to education Jordan is not just about quantity, it’s about quality. It’s about how we can shine, how we can light up every corner, every school, every city, every municipality.”

As she detailed her plans to improve the situation in Jordan, the Queen pointed to an interactive map of the country, which lit up phase by phase. The main partners involved in spearheading the initiative are the Ministry of Education, the Jordan River Foundation, the Jordan Education Initiative, the Royal Health Awareness Society, the Jordan Education Society, the Children’s Museum, the Greater Amman Municipality, the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, UNICEF, INJAZ, and Ruwwad.

As a strong supporter of advancing educational opportunities for students and teachers in Jordan, Her Majesty has been spending a significant amount of time touring many of the dilapidated schools around the country to gain more firsthand knowledge of the needs in these schools in order to address them effectively and efficiently.

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.

Also on Tuesday, the Madrasati website (www.madrasati.jo) was officially launched.