Queen attends launch of School Adoption Program that brings together private sector and public schools

May 25, 2006

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Amman) - When you merge the dedication and commitment of the private sector with the heart and will of public school students, you create a recipe for success. This was most evident on Wednesday morning when INJAZ launched the new School Adoption Program, a national program initiated by INJAZ along with the Ministry of Education and the private sector. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah attended the launch, which took place at Al Zahra Secondary School for Girls. Earlier this week Queen Rania spoke at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el Sheikh about the importance of involving the private sector in long term development programs. She said that this is done by "bringing in business know how with grass root knowledge … partnering [the] best business practices and resources with the resourcefulness of the grassroots".

Her Majesty also said that it is "about the private sector reevaluating their role and the contribution they make", and on Wednesday everyone got to see what happens when the private sector does this.

Wednesday was an open day at Al Zahra Secondary School, where teachers and students spent the day showcasing the developments that their school has experienced since it was adopted under the pilot program last year. "The walls have been painted and desks have been put into all the classrooms," said one of the students, "we also got the chance to go on a field trip to their offices that benefited us a lot. We learned so much about work life." To further demonstrate the difference that private sector involvement makes in such schools, INJAZ had set up a wall—one side of the wall was renovated while the other side was left alone. Pictures were set up on both sides of the wall; on the old side, the pictures were dim and hopeless, but on the renovated end there were pictures showing the possibility of a bright future for those students.

Deema Bibi, President of INJAZ, showed the set up to Queen Rania, who is the regional ambassador of INJAZ. Her Majesty seemed pleased to see the developments and said she is excited to see such improvements in schools across the country.

After touring the exhibition that contrasted the old dilapidated conditions of the school with the renovated version, Her Majesty joined US Ambassador David Hayle; Minister of Political Development and Parliamentary Affairs Sabree Rebehyat; Deputy Mayor of Amman Abdel Rahim Al Biqai, and other audience members to watch a skit put on by some of the INJAZ students which personified the benefits of the program.  The skit began with six students, but soon brought in the interaction of audience members. One of the students on stage turned to Abdel Rahim Al Biqai and asked "Through this program we have benefited from you, but have you benefited from us?" Al Biqai told the student and the crowd that he believed this program is beneficial to both the students and the companies. Rudain Ka'awar, who is the CEO of INJAZ and the Amin Ka'awar & Sons Company, agreed, saying that "INJAZ is the best type of project because both employees and the schools benefit…. The employees feel they are giving back to society."

So far 20 schools have been adopted under this program by different companies. Once a company adopts a school, they oversee a series of activities and programs that aim at building the capacity of the students and improving the school's facilities and infrastructure, leading to the enhancement of the quality of education in public schools. The program also provides on-the-job training activities which includes field visits and job shadow day, which is an innate integration between the classroom and the workplace.

The School Adoption Program is an opportunity for the company to activate its role in serving the community and to undertake its social responsibility, and defining the community's needs. INJAZ hopes to have at least 60 schools adopted next year. The students challenged the attendees to increase this number, but said "don't stop at 100, why not have all the schools in the country be adopted?"