12 October 2015 – Amman, Jordan: Today, Generations For Peace and the Ministry of Education signed an agreement to renew and expand their successful collaboration to address the complex issues of violence in Jordanian schools.
In 2013, Generations For Peace introduced conflict transformation activities, using sports, arts, and advocacy, in four selected schools in partnership with the Ministry of Education following a 2012 planning event with key stakeholders. Funded by donors including Samsung Electronics Levant and the US Embassy’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the first step was a pilot programme to train and mentor teachers to reduce violence in schools using sport and arts-based activities. Teachers learned how to analyse conflicts, design and implement appropriate activities throughout the semester with carefully selected students, and monitor and evaluate the positive impact in terms of improved behaviour and relationships, reductions in violence and improvements in educational performance. Now in 2015, more than 45 teachers have completed training, and the programme has expanded to a total of 12 schools in Ajloun, Irbid, Mafraq, Karak and Amman, with increased support from Orange and USAID, with the aim of reaching more teachers and benefiting thousands of students by the end of 2016.
Generations For Peace Founder and Chairman, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, said: “With the increased overcrowding and pressures on our schools due to the Syrian refugee crises, we must continue to reduce violence in the classroom and ensure that teachers can focus on delivering quality education to benefit the future of all students. We are thankful for the excellent collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the support of our partners in these efforts. Without the determination and dedication of the teachers themselves, and the commitment of the Ministry at the highest levels, we would not be seeing this level of success in reducing violence and improving educational performance in these schools.”
HE Mr. Mohammad Dnebat, Minister of Education, said: “We have learned a tremendous amount from the pilot and early phases of this partnership, and have found that Generations For Peace’s curriculum and methodologies to help plan and implement targeted, successful activities are positively transforming teacher and student responses to conflict in our schools. Teachers are seeing improvements in student behavior and grades since the programme started, and have also improved their own capacity to analyse and deal with conflict situations in their classrooms. We are looking forward to more positive results from the expansion of the programme into additional schools and locations.”
The Memorandum of Understanding signed today confirms the commitment by Generations For Peace and the Ministry of Education to expand the programme from the current locations in Irbid, Al-Rsaifeh, and Amman to include schools in Karak and Ajloun. Generations For Peace is also investing in continued research on best practices and lessons learned. The research so far shows evidence of positive outcomes including changes in participants’ attitudes towards violence; strengthened capacity of teachers and students to manage disciplinary issues, disputes and conflict in non-violent ways; reductions in different forms of violence and disciplinary cases; and improved educational performance for the students.