25 August 2014 – Amman, Jordan: The Generations For Peace Jordan Schools Programme has had a remarkably positive impact over the last twelve months, improving relationships and behaviour, reducing violence in the classroom and improving educational performance through sports and arts-based activities. Over two hundred students and twenty teachers from four participating schools in Al Russaiyfeh and Sahab in northern Amman were trained on non-violent conflict transformation skills.
Speaking at a special ceremony organised by the schools to showcase their achievements, the Founder and Chairman of Generations For Peace, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, said: “The success we are seeing is due to the leadership and commitment shown by the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammed Dhunaibat, and his team, by the teachers in each school, and by the students themselves. We must also thank the U.S. Embassy for their generous funding support to make this pilot programme possible. The programme is making a real and tangible impact on the participants’ lives, and we now plan to build on this success.”
U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells said: “This programme demonstrates the real promise of our commitment to work with citizens making positive change in communities across Jordan. I am grateful to the staff who facilitated this program, to the teachers who worked so hard to educate their students on non-violent conflict transformation, and to the students and parents whose enthusiastic participation made this programme possible.”
Teachers, students and parents observed that the programme has resulted in less violence among students and an overall improvement in educational performance. Moreover, teachers have commented on the positive and supportive relationships they have built with their students in the course of the programme. Jumana Awwad Houri Al Aqili, a participating teacher at Princess Taghreed Secondary School For Girls, said: “I was quite surprised with myself with the way I treated my students. Even the way I look at my students and myself has changed. I am not just here to teach an educational subject. Through this programme, I found out that I have creativity that I didn’t know existed.”
Describing his own personal transformation, Hussein Mohammad Obied, a student at Al-Ma’moun School For Boys, stated: “Before, I used to get sent to the social worker up to four or five times a day because of swearing and other acts of violence that students do in the school. Now, I hope that all the troublemaker students who didn’t yet participate in this programme, can take part and change, the same way I have.”
The programme was supported by the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative, a U.S. Government programme that supports the efforts of community organisations and individuals to create positive change in their societies. The Generations For Peace Jordan Schools Programme promotes community empowerment, tolerance, and responsible citizenship among the students, parents, and teachers who participated.