Submitted by: Dr. Silvia Morgenroth, Head of Division 221, Tackling the root causes of displacement, Partnership for Prospects
Email: [email protected]
The project in brief
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Through the Special Initiative on Forced Displacement, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports host countries in their efforts to expand access to national education systems, and to ensure that children and youth from refugee and host communities benefit from quality, disability-inclusive and gender-sensitive education and learning environments.
Since 2014, BMZ has been supporting the Jordanian Ministry of Education to offer inclusive education and quality teaching for both refugee and host community children and youth. The programme is implemented by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) in 4 regions (Marka, Zarka, Irbid and Mafrak) in Jordan.
The programme has the following objectives:
Improve the infrastructure of public schools by using needs-based facility design in up to 12 selected schools, reaching 12,500 children and youth from refugee and host communities.
Support the Ministry of Education to improve long-term maintenance of school infrastructures and sanitary facilities.
Support the Ministry of Education in implementing extracurricular activities that promote playful and inclusive learning and foster social cohesion among refugee and host community children and youth.
Through this programme, BMZ increases access to quality education for displaced people and host communities, thus supporting the government in the implementation of the Jordan Response Plan. With its support, BMZ contributes to objective one of the GCR, namely to ease pressures on host countries in the spirit of international burden and responsibility sharing.
Challenges and how they were overcome
Due to the double-shift school system, Syrian and Jordanian children are segregated and have little opportunities of interaction. ILEPS involves parents and local communities in awareness-raising and training measures. Open school days (such as cleaning days) and school competitions are carried out involving teachers, parents and children from both the first and second shift. This has been shown to positively impact community involvement and social cohesion. New infrastructure measures are accompanied by awareness-raising campaigns specifically involving the community and students from both shifts.
There is still a lot of stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities and learning difficulties that makes it hard for those children to go and stay in school. ILEPS fosters open dialogue on inclusive education inside the ministerial structures and within the community. Several workshops with parents and children from both displaced and host communities, as well as the political partner, have been organized to enhance this exchange.
Results of the Good Practice
The rehabilitation activities in double-shift schools help increase access to education for refugee and host community children and youth. Thus far, 4,444 children and youth have benefited from the interventions.
The programme activities support all children in achieving their right to education. Access to education enables students to think critically, thus enhancing their political participation and fostering democratization processes within society. Through the rehabilitation activities of the programme, barrier-free school buildings, including gender separated and inclusive toilets, are provided. This ensures a safe and dignified learning environment that is accessible for all students.
The programme also increased attendance and accessibility for children and youth with disabilities. ILEPS established one of Jordan’s five model schools for inclusive education, enabling 100 Syrian and Jordanian children with disabilities to attend a public school by piloting inclusive measures. Based on a comprehensive needs assessment in public schools, ILEPS provided policy recommendations on inclusive education and barrier-free infrastructure in schools. These were developed in a participatory way during a joint workshop involving all concerned levels of society such as academia, ministries, civil society organizations, parents and children and were officially acknowledged by the Ministry of Education.