UNESCO, MoE & GIZ kick-off new project
UNESCO and the Ministry of Education (MoE), hosted a kick-off event honoring a brand new project. With strong collaboration and funding from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the “Technical assistance for the EMIS System and WebGIS tool for the School Maintenance System, Standards and Procedures” project aims to support evidence-based decision making and planning in the area of school maintenance.
Minister of Education, HE Azmi Mahaftha delivered remarks, highlighting the importance of maintaining and improving school infrastructure, especially now that Jordanian public schools are facing critical issues such as overcrowding, impacting the environment within school facilities.
MoE Secretary General HE Sami Salaitah, shared opening remarks, welcoming attendees, giving thanks to UNESCO for the ongoing support and acknowledging the generous contribution and collaboration from GIZ.
On behalf of Ms. Costanza Farina, Ms. Mary Anne Therese Manuson, UNESCO Project Officer, addressed the audience. “Please allow me to start by thanking GIZ, for their continued and long-standing partnership with UNESCO in the field of education. It is important to recall the 2030 Agenda as we embark on this initiative; SDG 4 speaks to the importance of ‘building and upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender-sensitive and provide safe and non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all’”.
UNESCO Project Officer, Ms. Sa’eda Ramzi delivered a presentation detailing the project’s approach and impact. The year-long project will see UNESCO providing technical assistance and support, ensuring capacity for the future spatial visualization in WebGIS. This project aligns strategically with the MoE’s goals to improve school infrastructure, addressing the issue of rising numbers of students shifting from private to public schools and the associated impact on the quality of learning in schools and access and equity in education.
In addition, the School Maintenance Steering Committee shall strive to develop a multi-level model for school facility management in Jordan, including capacity development opportunities for staff at the MoE and directorate level, to monitor and report on school maintenance using the Ministry’s EMIS and/or GIS platform. This will enable electronic and automated data capture, workflows, monitoring and reporting, with the goal of facilitating systematic, structured and evidence-based decision making.
In the context of overall increased growth and investment in school infrastructure and rehabilitation/maintenance, the project will strive to build upon previous experience, using the current collaboration to achieve the goal of developing a database and system for school maintenance. The project outputs are directly aligned with the National HRD Strategy 2016-2025 and the National Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022 which specifically highlights that “a large number of schools have urgent maintenance needs”.
HE Azmi Mahaftha strongly asserted the importance of this initiative, stating, “The Ministry is fully committed to supporting the implementation of this project, given that the topic of school maintenance is one of our key priorities”.