- Community Empowerment
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Queen Rania visits Salt
Queen Rania visits Salt to emphasize the importance of institutions of excellence and social work
(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Salt) In her first visit to Salt City this year, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah visited the King Abdullah II School for Excellence, Wednesday, to meet with the students and faculty and encourage their efforts in maintaining an environment of excellence.
Dozens of students lined the entrance and joined the Minister of Education, Khalid Touqan, and the school principal, Nimat Abu Talib in welcoming the Queen. Touqan and Abu Talib accompanied Queen Rania on a tour of the school.
Queen Rania visited with students at the language lab and observed the methods they use to improve their language skills. Students in the language lab listen to conversations in English through their individual headsets and then discuss the passages with their teacher. While Arabic is the language of instruction at the school, students have the opportunity to learn and excel in English and French.
After listening to the day's lesson, one of the students told the Queen that she had a complaint to make. As Her Majesty listened attentively, the young pupil boasted about her pride in her school, but complained that the facility is too small to accommodate the number of students and faculty. There are over 250 students enrolled at the King Abdullah II School for Excellence and that number is only expected to increase in the coming years. Her Majesty assured the girl that she had already discussed the issue with Touqan. Touqan informed the students that plans are already in motion to relocate the school to a better facility.
Queen Rania also stopped in on the computer lab where the students got the chance to show her their individual projects which included presentations on Jordan, the environment, and a booklet produced in French about the city of Salt.
Earlier Wednesday, Her Majesty attended a meeting at Al Balqa Applied University where she was briefed on a social work initiative between Jordanian and British universities. The Jordan River Foundation (JRF), under the direction of Her Majesty, facilitated a national dialogue between Al Balqa Applied University and the Hashemite University in Jordan and the University of Reading and Brunel University in Britain.
Maha Khatib, General Director of JRF, and an advisor to Her Majesty, spoke of the urgent need for reform in the social sector. "There is a need for qualified people to manage and implement this sector," she said. Over the past week, participants from the four universities have outlined ways to upgrade the quality of social work education in Jordan to meet international standards and to establish a social work council to regulate the practice of social work and to standardize and protect the rights of the profession.
Donald Forrestor spoke on behalf of Reading and Brunel universities, saying he hoped this dialogue will allow those in the field of social work in Britain to share best practices and lessons learnt with their Jordanian counterparts. Her Majesty stressed that while this is a valuable relationship, it is also important to focus on Jordan-specific issues when reforming the social sector here