20.06.2016 - UNESCO Office in Amman

Life skills teacher in UNESCO Youth Mentoring Project in Zaatari Refugee Camp inspires students to reach higher

©UNESCO/Nichole Saad--Mr. Muhammad captures students' attention

Mr. Muhammad, a teacher in the UNESCO “Youth Skills Development and Mentoring” project, funded by the EU, and implemented in partnership with Al Quds College, works with students to overcome their personal obstacles.

Upon walking into Mr. Muhammad’s classroom in UNESCO’s District 10 site in the Zaatari refugee camp, it is evident that students are active and engaged in his lesson. His students eagerly raise their hands and call out their opinions as he walks around the room introducing the topic of job interviewing. While students work together to complete a questionnaire, it is hard to imagine that just a few weeks before they lacked the social skills to work collaboratively.


©UNESCO/Nichole Saad - Students are engaged
in a deep discussion

Mr. Muhammad exhibits great pride when talking about his class, “Actually, they have made a huge change. When we started with them they were undeveloped, they only did independent work, and they didn’t have many social skills even though they live in the same camp. They didn’t interact with each other. After 5 weeks they work as one family. They smile, support each other, and they are doing very well. They’ve moved from one level to a higher level, and I believe they are doing great.”

Observing the way his students actively engage in the classroom activities, laughing and joking with one another, the evidence suggests he is right. The students in Mr. Muhammad’s class are part of the Passport to Success program, a curriculum that improves students’ competency in key life skills necessary for their future. These include self-confidence, career planning, workplace readiness, and teamwork among other thematic topics. Today’s lesson, job interviewing, culminates in a role-play activity.


©UNESCO/Nichole Saad - A student participates
in a mock interview

“After conducting the role-play, first, I don’t give them my feedback. They have to do feedback with the person who gave them the interview. So the classmates will provide positive feedback and then development points. At the end I give my feedback for all of them: where they need to focus to do interviews better,” said Mr. Muhammad. The model is clearly working, with students even staying after the class to discuss more about their development points.

The “Youth Skills Development and Mentoring” project is part of the larger, “Sustaining Quality Education and Promoting Skills Development for Young Syrian Refugees in Jordan”, through which the UNESCO Amman Office is implementing a 4.3 million Euro project funded by the European Union to sustain quality education and promote skills development opportunities for young Syrian refugees and Jordanian youth impacted by the humanitarian crisis. This project aims to address the challenges posed by the continuing influx of Syrian refugees on the quality of education in Jordan. The project builds upon UNESCO’s experience and commitment to strengthening national capacities of the Education system.


©UNESCO/Nichole Saad -Mr. Muhammad proides feedback
to his students

The “Youth Skills Development and Mentoring Project in Jordan”, of which “Youth Mentoring in Zaatari” is a key component, will provide opportunities for 1,300 youth to participate in education programs ranging from three months to 1 year. The project includes an accredited BTEC-3  diploma program, in addition to youth in the Zaatari camp and in the host communities given the opportunity to participate in structured youth mentorship programs culminating in a community outreach project for Zaatari’s youth, and in a business incubator for Jordanian youth in the host communities.

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