THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
November 9, 2015
United States said it will donate $100 million to Jordan’s education sector to encourage commitment to girls’ education in the Middle East region.
The announcement came on the heel of the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to the region last week as part of Let Girls Learn global campaign, a U.S. government initiative focused on addressing a range of challenges preventing adolescent girls worldwide from attending and completing their education.
Over the next five years, the U.S. government said it plans to help improve Jordan’s education system so that Jordanian adolescent girls and boys as they transient into young women and men receive quality education and schools experience that will prepare them to realize their potential as adults.
The U.S. has now given $199 million toward the construction of 28 new schools and the renovation or expansion of an additional 97 schools since 2006 through the USAID’s Jordan School Construction and Rehabilitation Project. These efforts have improved the learning environment for more than 100,000 students attending the 125 new or rehabilitated schools.
The latest donation will go towards the construction of 25 new public schools, of which 70 percent will be reserved for girls schools.
The donation and construction will be orchestrated through the USAID’s ongoing school construction and improvement efforts in the region to alleviate overcrowded classrooms and schools. The effort also underscored the U.S’ efforts to lessen the burden on Jordan of accommodating thousands of Syrian refugees.
The new schools are estimated to accommodate around 25,000 children each year.
Many schools and classrooms in Jordan are overcrowded, a situation made worst by the influx of Syrian refugees to the country and other countries in the region and Europe. A situation many leaders in the international community are now recognizing as a catastrophe events and problems that cannot be swept under the rug anymore, one that needs an urgent, but innovative solutions to address the Syrian refugee issues.
The new schools will be built in urban cities in Jordan, and will come equipped with modern technology such as computers and science equipments to encourage STEM education as well as facilitate other learning.
Additional U.S’. efforts in the region includes providing training and educational materials through a partnership between USAID and Queen Ranja Teaching Academy to teachers and others in related fields that supports inclusive education opportunities for Syrian refugees. Girls and boys who are left behind on their education development will get the assistance they need to continue or complete their schooling from Caritas Jordan, which is being supported by Department of State.
The U.S. also plans to fund new initiatives next year through the Global Women Peace and Security and the Gender Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiatives in Syria’s neighboring countries affected by the influx of refugee and the Syrian crisis. A $1 million donation will be disbursed to local initiatives that help guard against early and forced marriage of young girls through community education and involvement
President Obama and the First Lady launched the Let Girls Learn initiative in March to bring into focus the various works, efforts, and expertise of agencies within the government – Department of State, the Peace Corps, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the USAID – and build upon their expertise and U.S. investment to improve the lives of girls and women across the world.
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