University students support public schools in Jordan with sports, art and tutoring
What was your favourite part of going to school? Many would answer that sports and arts related activities were what they most enjoyed. In fact, extracurricular activities are internationally recognised to improve students test results and motivation to learn, and can teach soft skills such as creativity, team work and better communication.
Article by Malena Knauth
Jordan acknowledges that the Ministry of Education in Jordan has issued a directive to all public schools to further expand the offer of extracurricular activities.
However, teachers and staff are faced with a tight schedule for the curriculum and an increasing workload due to the influx of Syrian refugees. Many public schools in Jordan run on a double shift system, offering classes to Jordanian students in the morning shift and to non-Jordanians in the afternoon. As a consequence, teachers struggle to offer extracurricular activities on top of their already existing duties.
Therefore, Qudra cooperated with programmes such as GIZ Sport for Development and Artolution to support the implementation of extracurricular activities and help teachers.
To make this approach more sustainable, Qudra is connecting Jordanian universities with public schools. University students now offer different activities such as tutoring Arabic, English, math and science, as well as teaching art, music, sport and theatre on a voluntary basis as part of community service.
“I learned that in the future it will be possible for me to help people in need.”
Hala, a student at Al-Arqam Bin Al Arqam School
In a first pilot project, 55 university students from the Middle East University have conducted activities for around 85 elementary school students at Al-Arqam Bin Al-Arqam School in Sahab, Amman for around seven weeks. Jordanian and Syrian school students have taken part in the activities together, learning and playing side by side.
On the last day of the seven-week programme, the school organised a ceremony where all volunteers received a certificate from Qudra thanking them for their efforts and support. School students and volunteers were sad to leave each other and halt the activities due to the exam period. However, a summer programme is planned during vacation time, picking up where the volunteer programme left off.
Qudra will support the volunteering network further to connect even more universities to public schools.
“We conducted extracurricular activities at Al-Arqam Bin Al-Arqam Al-Arqam School to bring local and refugee communities together. I feel like we achieved this goal by working on a good relationship between Syrian and Jordanian students.”
Tamador, a university student from Middle East University