Schools for a Knowledge Economy Project

Speeches Shim

Schools for a Knowledge Economy Project
Schools for a Knowledge Economy Project
USAID

BACKGROUND

Jordan needs more schools to meet the demands on the public education system related to the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration, inadequate infrastructure, a growing population, and an influx of refugees from regional crises. While schools struggle with overcrowding and strained resources, the list of students’ needs grows even longer. Teachers, principals and the school infrastructure must be even more responsive to meet the needs of students with disabilities, special learning needs, students who are refugees, and nimble enough to meet the 21st Century technological demands. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the Ministry of Education, USAID is committed to ensuring that all children have access to equitable and quality learning environments.

PROJECT OVERVIEWS

USAID’s school for a knowledge economy (SKEP) project is building and furnishing 25 new schools throughout Jordan, increasing students’ access to inclusive, environmentally-friendly, and student-centered learning environments. To address limited access to public space for extra-curricular activities, nearby communities can access the schools’ multipurpose and meeting rooms, computer labs, and recreational spaces outside of school hours. USAID is committed to reducing the number of overcrowded rented and double-shifted schools, and improving the functions and layout of schools to provide students with a quality learning environment. USAID, the ministry of education and the ministry of public works and housing have increases local knowledge, awareness, and ownership of designing and planning accessible school infrastructure, The ministries increased their capacity to plan and design schools for a knowledge economy, holistically addressing students’ learning outcomes through thoughtful design inside and outside the classroom.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS

  • To date, twelve schools in seven governorates have been completed and construction is underway on an additional 13 schools. The schools provide 23,000 students per year access to state-of-the-art classrooms and fully-equipped science, computer, and vocational labs. In addition to increased energy and water efficiency, the schools are designed in a cluster approach, facilitating school management and oversight efficiency. SKEP schools provide an improved environment responsive to student-centered learning, providing group, learning, outdoor and research spaces. Enhanced accessibility, security and student safety are addressed via TV systems, fire alarm and fire fighting systems, a first aid room, and a public address system.
  • During construction, surrounding communities were actively engaged in the planning and decision-making to maximize community buy-in to the project from the start. Family and community involvement in students’ learning inside and outside of the classroom increased. The local community and other surrounding schools benefit from the available facilities and resources.  
  • Two Schools for Sign Language (one in Zarqa and one in Aqaba) were built to serve students with hearing loss. They are models of inclusive education that serve the needs of students with a variety of learning needs and provide access to services for preschool children and community members with hearing loss from neighboring communities. The schools are outfitted with audiometric testing devices and booths used to evaluate the hearing threshold of the students.  
  • Schools are fully furnished and equipped to respond to new learning concepts providing more flexibility for the classroom settings, laboratories and other spaces. Schools are equipped with technology tools that enhance the learning experience through multiple computer labs, interactive boards and smart projectors, electronic microscopes and other lab devices, projectors and laptops.

Last updated: June 22, 2022

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