UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education visits Jordan

Special Envoy Helen Grant visited a variety of different UK funded education programmes and spoke to partners in Jordan, highlighting the UK’s efforts internationally to ensure all girls are able to access 12 years of quality education.

Helen Grant said:

Girls’ education is essential for alleviating poverty and helping economies to grow. In my visit to Jordan, I’ve been inspired by the talented and inspiring girls and young women I’ve met and all the work the UK is doing to support them to realise their potential through education.

The Special Envoy met the Minister of Education, international donor partners, and key education partners and stakeholders across the education sector in Jordan.

Helen Grant reiterated the importance of educating girls as “one of the most impactful development investments we can make” and repeatedly stressed the gains this has for society.

On World Refugee Day 2022, the Special Envoy visited Zaatari Refugee Camp to visit a school funded through the UK and multi-donor education programme: Accelerated Access Initiative. She also participated in a focus group with secondary school age refugee girls to understand the positive impact of education, as well as the challenges they face as vulnerable girls in continuing their education. She saw first-hand how support from the UK and the government of Jordan is helping all children in Jordan have access to quality education.

During a meeting with the Minister of Education, the Special Envoy highlighted the benefits of reform in the curriculum and teacher training, as well as safety to ensure girls are supported to stay in and succeed in education, and are provided with the right tools to transition to further education and employment opportunities.

The Special Envoy also visited Princess Alia Secondary School to meet with Jordanian students and teachers in a school participating in the British Council International School Awards (ISA). She also engaged with young Jordanian girls supported under the UK’s Newton-Khalidi fund to discuss their experiences working on STEM careers and engaged with both Jordanian and UK partners AstroJo as well as UCL.

At a meeting with the Queen Rania Foundation, Helen Grant welcomed a new partnership for a UK funded research project.

She said:

I’m pleased our new global education research programme, Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crises (ERICC), in Jordan will help build evidence and best practice on what works in education in order to provide greater quality of education for all children in Jordan.

Concluding her visit, the Special Envoy said:

I’m pleased to see first-hand the impact of UK funding and partnership with the Ministry of Education to support boys and girls in Jordan with quality education. Since 2016, the UK has led the international community to support the landmark ‘Jordan Compact’ commitment made at the ‘Syria and the Region Conference’ to ensure all children regardless of their nationality will receive an education. The UK will continue to work tirelessly with the government of Jordan to ensure all children regardless of their nationality will receive a quality education.

Background

Since 2016, the UK has provided around £49 million to the multi-donor ‘Special Account’ in the Ministry of Education to offset the burden of costs of Syrian refugees in the public education system. This support is known as the Accelerated Access Initiative (AAI) and also involves: Australia, Canada, EU, Germany, Norway and USAID although the coordination between all donors and MoE is led by the UK.

Through AAI, government of Jordan with support from donors will continue in delivering this promise and providing quality public education to both Syrian and non-Syrian refugee boys and girls in formal and non-formal education. This includes: training new teachers, financing salaries for teachers and administrative staff, opening additional double shift schools, supporting blended learning, purchasing schoolbooks, providing tuition fees, and covering costs for operations and equipment in these schools.

To date, AAI has supported 190,000 refugee boys and girls access public education (95,000 girls and 1,092 children with disabilities).

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