Education Ministry to establish 100 new schools annually over 10 years — official

[12-09-2022 10:40 PM]

Ammon News - The Ministry of Education has said that its strategic plan for the next 10 years will work on establishing 100 schools per year.

According to Ibrahim Samamah, Director of the International Buildings and Projects Department at the Ministry of Education, the strategic plan aims to solve the problem of overcrowding in classrooms around the Kingdom, and to do away with rented buildings.

Samamah said that the plan is in line with His Majesty’s vision to provide the best educational environment for students, especially after the pandemic, as the plan was put in 2019 but was disrupted due to the pandemic.

“As a result of the pandemic, a huge number of students moved from private to public schools, approximately 220,000 students, and the ministry was able to act through the shifts system and distance education. But this year, education has become completely in-person and students need about 200-300 schools,” Samamah told The Jordan Times.

In 2022, the number of students who transferred from private to public schools increased to 250,000 students, and the ministry’s strategy was to establish 60 new schools annually. However, it is currently working on building 100 schools per year for the next 10 years.

Building new schools within the strategic plan will cost approximately $700 million, which will be allocated from loans and grants from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, USAID, the German Development Bank (KfW), Royal initiatives, the private sector and from the national budget, Samamah noted.

The partnership with the private sector project will design and manage the building of 15 schools for 20 years, while USAID’s grant will build 30 schools which will be established for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in terms of space, number of floors and stairs, bathrooms and much more, he added.

Samamah indicated that the first phase of the plan will be implemented in Zarqa, Madaba and Amman, and the project will be carried out in other governorates in phases two and three later.

“Maintenance projects implemented for schools were 550 in 2020, 1,142 schools in 2021 and 365 schools in 2022. Since the beginning of this year, the ministry has opened 18 new schools, which started operating this semester, with an average of 307 classrooms in various governorates of the Kingdom, and 48 kindergartens,” he noted.

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, it has submitted a bid for the construction of the first school in the precast building system on Thursday.

The Ibdar Secondary School for Girls in Iribd, will be about 7000sq.m. and will feature four stories containing classrooms, laboratories, a library, an art room, a computer laboratory, a gymnasium, and more. The design and construction of the school has an estimated duration of eight months.

He also described the Central Schools Complex in Aqaba as “one of the pioneering projects adopted by the ministry”, in cooperation with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), that aims to develop the educational sector.

ASEZA is providing free transportation for students, according to Samamah. The project has been launched in three schools, starting with the 92-dunum mixed primary school, which will later be attached to a vocational school.

(THE JORDN TIMES - Batool Ghaith)

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