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Education Ministry, UNICEF launch summer school programme

Thousands of children in Jordan to attend programme to compensate for missed school days

By JT - Jul 11,2017 - Last updated at Jul 11,2017

The summer school programme started on July 2 and will end on August 24 (Photo courtesy of UNICEF)

AMMAN — Over 3,000 children have begun attending a summer school programme established by the Ministry of Education and supported by UNICEF, a statement from the UN agency said on Tuesday.

The programme particularly targets children who were previously out of school, and only enrolled for formal education when the Ministry of Education reopened registration in the second semester, between January and March 2017.

Minister of Education Omar Razzaz stressed that the Ministry of Education, in line with the government’s priorities, strives to provide education opportunities to all school children, including Syrians, along with their Jordanian peers and appealed to the international community for continued support, according to the statement.

The summer school programme assists children who missed the first semester in receiving additional schooling on all subjects appropriate to their grade, to fully complete a full academic calendar. 

Successful completion of the programme allows them to progress to the next grade level, when the new school year begins in September 2017, the statement said.

The programme will run for six weeks in 45 public schools located across the country, in towns and urban centres, and Syrian refugee camps. The curriculum includes all subjects taught during the scholastic year in the Kingdom’s schools.

“UNICEF welcomes the Summer School initiative by the Ministry of Education, which is another great step towards realising the vision of all children in Jordan reaching their full potential,” UNICEF Jordan Representative Robert Jenkins was quoted in the statement as saying.   

“We are grateful for the continued commitment of the Government of Jordan and the support from donors in improving access and quality of education for all children in the Kingdom,” he added.

The Ministry of Education and UNICEF collaborated to bring back experienced teachers to manage the summer school programme. Additionally, the programme is providing school supplies, learning materials, food and transportation for students and staff, added the statement. 

Over 126,000 Syrian children enrolled in public schools in Jordan during the 2016-2017 academic year. The ministry and UNICEF are currently partnering through the ‘Learning-For-All’ campaign to ensure every child in the Kingdom is enrolled in school and learning.

The Summer School programme started on July 2, and will end on August 24. Classes will be held for 46 days, six days a week, including Saturdays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, according to the statement.

 The curriculum for grade one to 11 includes all subjects similar to a regular semester, with the addition of a sports session for each grade.

In September 2016, the Ministry of Education opened afternoon shifts in an additional 100 schools, bringing the total to 198 double-shifted schools to accommodate as many out-of-school children as possible in the formal education system, with support from UNICEF and donors including Canada, the European Union, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the US.  

Furthermore, the ministry started the Catch-Up programme, enabling children aged between 9 and 12, who have missed more than three years of schooling, to enroll for “fast track” learning programme. Children above 12 years can enroll in the Non-Formal Education programme. 

 

UNICEF supported the initiative with a nationwide Learning-For-All campaign mobilising civil society partners, and managing an education hotline, to spread awareness and encourage parents and caregivers to enroll their children in schools, concluded the statement.    

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