Queen Rania Visits Salt

May 26, 2008

(Jordan Times - Salt) Her Majesty Queen Rania on Monday expressed support for the Salt Secondary School for Boys, which will be revamped under the recently launched Madrasati initiative.
Launched by the Queen last month, the ambitious Madrasati (my school) initiative seeks to make education a social responsibility by pairing corporations and NGOs with 500 public schools in the Kingdom in desperate need of repair.
During a visit to the Salt Secondary School yesterday, the Queen pledged the initiative’s commitment to develop the facility’s classrooms and enhance its educational environment.
Meeting with several statesmen who graduated from the school, as well as private sector representatives and members of the local community, the Queen said the initiative will work with the school to enhance different educational criteria set by the local committee.
Highlighting His Majesty King Abdullah’s support for the education sector, the Queen expressed the Monarch’s interest in the school and his support for the facility.
The Queen noted that many of the Kingdom’s prominent figures are graduates of the school, reiterating the need to keep pace with labour market demands so it can continue in its drive towards distinction.
“We have to keep abreast of these changes within the available resources,” the Queen said, underlining the role of the partnership between the school, the local community, the private sector, civic societies and the Ministry of Education.
Different plans have been drawn up for the school’s development including floating a tender to upgrade its equipment, Education Minister Tayseer Nueimi said during yesterday’s meeting.
Private sector representatives, who attended the meeting, pledged their support for the school’s upgrade through the Madrasati initiative.
Ahmad Lawzi, Rajai Muasher, Senator Marwan Hmoud, Abdul Latif Arabiyat and Samir Qawar were among the participants who expressed their readiness to support the school’s developmental plans.
Meanwhile, graduates and former teachers said they would follow up on the process.
King’s Academy Director Eric Widmer, who also attended the meeting, said the Madrasati initiative provided an opportunity for the academy to conclude a twinning agreement with Salt Secondary School in order to improve the educational environment for all students.
Accordingly, the academy will work side by side with the Salt school to offer students and teaching staff a chance to gain different experiences.
Built in 1923, Salt Secondary School currently has seven buildings, housing 20 classrooms. Around 750 secondary students are taught by 35 teachers.
Also on Monday, the Queen pledged her support for Salt’s historical legacy during a meeting with members of the Salt Cultural Capital Project’s higher committee.
The city was launched as the 2008 Jordanian Cultural Capital on March 31 at a ceremony held at the Salt Secondary School for Boys.
During the meeting, held at the Queen Rania Complex for Culture and Information Technology, discussions covered the city’s cultural activities during the year.
The Queen was briefed on renovation work to preserve the city’s heritage and Tourism Ministry plans to revive the old city centre.
Tourism Minister Maha Khatib as well as Japanese officials attended the meeting.
Japan International Cooperation Agency technical experts have worked in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry to renovate several museums in Jordan, including the Historic Old Salt Museum.
The city, which was once the Kingdom’s capital and centre of politics and business until the early 1920s, is now an unplanned mixture of old golden stone houses with the markings of Ottoman architecture and new white buildings built mostly in the 1970s.
It is home to the highest number of historic buildings in the country - more than 700.
At the end of her visit, the Queen toured Al Ain Square and Al Hamam Street, located in the centre of the old city and considered one of its oldest shopping areas.