Deputy Director and Senior Program Coordinator of UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning Commends UNESCO-Amman’s Education in Emergencies Initiatives
Amman, Jordan – 9-12, September 2013 – The UNESCO-Amman office along with their implementing partner organization Questscope welcomed Ms. Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo, Deputy Director/Senior Program Coordinator of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) to Amman for a visit to Non-Formal Education, Informal Education and mentoring centers in Amman, Mafraq, Zarqa and the Za’atari refugee camp. UIL has a longstanding mandate as UNESCO’s global quality assurance body and standard-setter in the area of alternative education pathways and lifelong learning. Ms. Medel-Anonuevo during her visit observed class sessions, spoke with program beneficiaries and stakeholders, met with Ministry of Education’s Non-Formal Education department, and provided extensive technical feedback.
Ms. Medel-Anonuevo commended the Ministry of Education’s involvement in Non-Formal Education, as it demonstrates the level of the government’s commitment to serving all vulnerable children and youth in Jordan. She expressed how fascinated she was with the way the program, managed jointly by the UNESCO Amman Office and Questscope, put quality at the forefront and empowered children through deep investment in training facilitators. “This is definitely a best practice to showcase beyond Jordan,” she said.
During her visit to the Za’atari refugee camp, beneficiaries of the Informal Education and mentoring programs presented an original drama on the dangers of early marriage, displayed handicrafts, and performed dances and poetry. Many community members of the Za’atari camp including heads-of-households took part in the visit, including UNESCO and Questscope staff, including Dr. Curt Rhodes, the Founder and International Director of Questscope. The Head of Camp Security, who also took part in the visit, indicated the urgent need for scaling up such programs for the tens of thousands of vulnerable children in the camp. “Today’s programs show how much the children have developed over just a six month period”, commented UNESCO-Amman’s Education Program Specialist, Claude Akpabie. “The spark of life has returned to their eyes.”
“Alternative educational pathways for vulnerable groups are imperative to providing all people with the ability to enjoy their human right to quality education,” commented Ms. Medel-Anonuevo. “I am impressed by the various innovative elements of the Non-Formal, Informal, and mentoring programs and the level of agency displayed by the programs’ facilitators. It is clear the facilitators are well-trained and care deeply about their work. The strong bonds between the facilitators and students have created a safe and healthy environment, vital to the children’s learning through their empowerment.”
UNESCO’s activities in the Education Sector are part of a country-wide 4.3 million Euros project funded by the EU and coordinated by the UNESCO Amman Office aiming to sustain quality education and promote skills development opportunities for young Syrian refugees and Jordanians impacted by the humanitarian crisis.
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