Cultivating Inclusive & Supportive Learning Environments

RAGHAD’S REFUGE
2013-2016 ● $3.27 million ● Partners: Queen Rania Teacher Academy & Ministry of Education

Background

In response to the political crisis in Syria, the Government of Jordan and the Ministry of Education (MOE) have put several measures in place to support and accommodate the Syrian refugees, including allowing refugee children to enroll in Jordan’s public schools. This measure offers Syrian children an element of normalcy in their disrupted lives and encourages the establishment of safe environments and productive routines, which are critical for displaced children who have experienced and or witnessed extreme violence. However, it has added to overcrowding and declining quality of Jordanian schools, which already existed prior to the Syrian refugee crisis.

One of the key challenges confronted by teachers in these classrooms is how to manage the learning and behavioral problems displaced children may be struggling with. The impact of armed conflict and violence on a child’s ability to learn is problematic for trained specialists to manage. These obstacles are compounded even further by ill-equipped and un-trained classroom teachers.

Project Overview

The project operates in over 350 public schools in eight central and northern governorates (Amman, Az-Zarqa’, Al-Balqa’, Jerash, Ajlun, Irbid, Al-Mafraq and Madaba). Designed to support learning environments and communities where Syrian and Jordanian students coexist, CISLE’s overarching goal is to ensure that all children are afforded an equitable opportunity to acquire a purposeful education in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment. The project also aims to integrate Syrians into the Jordanian school system and support dialogue and peaceful coexistence between the host and Syrian refugee communities.

The CISLE project incorporates psychosocial support and interactive learning training for public school teachers, enriched teacher training materials, and training of trainer sessions for MOE staff to provide sustainability and support for the project. Furthermore, CISLE’s reach extends beyond classrooms as CISLE increases awareness, responsibility, advocacy and participation of the local community.

Activities

CISLE’s goal is to ensure that all children – local residents and Syrian refuges – are afforded an equal opportunity to acquire a purposeful and meaningful education in a safe and supportive learning environment. The project focuses on four objectives:

  • Enhancing the capacity of teachers to increase participation of Syrian refugee students in Jordan’s public schools;
  • Increasing local community awareness, responsibility, advocacy and participation in the targeted schools and communities;
  • Promoting supportive and inclusive learning environments; and
  • Strengthening community engagement through adult education and extra-curricular activities for families.

Activities are carried out through a two-track program. The first track of the project utilizes a teacher training package and resource materials for a 30-hour training program. These training materials include elements of psychosocial support for students, interactive teaching pedagogies, effective classroom management techniques, and academic and behavioral assessment strategies. Teachers are introduced to basic principles of child rights and protection against abuse while being trained on how to detect early signs of psychosocial problems. Support activities compliment these interventions, including classroom support visits and reflective meetings for trained teachers and activity book development.

The second track of the project supports Community-Parent School Coalitions (CPSCs) in schools. Teachers undergo training on literacy and language arts instruction, and reading clubs are established in all schools as essential components to promote reading and writing that enhances student engagement in the classroom while helping students and teachers confront challenging behavioral problems. As part of CISLE, community members have become more involved with the school and its students. For example, one school guard is now volunteering as a karate and Judo instructor.

Impact & Achievements

  • Reached nearly 102,955 students – 7,738 of whom are Syrian – in 409 schools in 26 educational districts across eight governorates
  • 40 MOE staff trained as trainers
  • Over 4,700 educators were trained to meet students’ psychosocial and interactive pedagogies, exceeding the original target of training 4,000 teachers
  • 2,993 follow-up visits were conducted – 1,412 to evaluate psychosocial support and 1,581 to observe pedagogy
  • 80 Community-Parent School Coalitions were formed
  • 6,900 books were distributed to the community schools
  • 2,154 students participated in four reading clubs
  • 293 activities were conducted in the community schools, including plowing and planting a school garden, establishing a “Homework Village” for after-school hours, and a karate class 

Last updated: May 26, 2017

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