Jordanian youth help disadvantaged students learn

By Mohammed Ghazal in Amman


Jordanian youth volunteers receive training before embarking on an initiative to provide free lessons to high school students in remote areas of the kingdom. [Photo via We Are All Jordan Youth Commission Facebook page]

We Are All Jordan, a youth commission affiliated with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), is set to launch an educational initiative through which youth volunteers will provide lessons to disadvantaged students.

Free lessons will be offered to high school students in remote areas outside major urban centres to help them prepare for college as part of the "Learn to Reach" initiative.

Youth in these areas live under difficult economic conditions and have free time that must be used productively, said All Jordan Youth Commission (AJYC) director Abdel-Raheem al-Zawahreh.

"The initiative will be launched on September 6th, at the start of the new school year, and will continue indefinitely," he told Al-Mashareq.

It is being implemented by a network of youth volunteers, he said.

"Volunteers with bachelors and master's degrees in English and mathematics will teach courses and give lessons to students in those areas," he said.

The objective is to enhance the students’ basic skills to help them gain admission to university, succeed in their studies and subsequently compete in the labour market, he said.

The initiative includes communication and life skills training, he added, noting that most of the targeted youth cannot afford extracurricular courses or lessons.

"The initiative also seeks to fill children's spare time in a positive way and harness their energy, as the combination of idle time and poverty in those areas leaves youth vulnerable to being brainwashed by extremist groups," he said.

Strengthening academic skills

The initiative has attracted "great interest" from students and their parents, said AJYC co-ordinator in Irbid Samer Marashdeh.

He said he expects a large percentage of high school students to participate.

Courses to strengthen academic skills and promote dialogue and tolerance are expected to continue during the summer break between school years, he noted.

"The initiative will be implemented in the northern Jordan Valley region, which is somewhat far from the urban centre of the city of Irbid," he said.

Youth in that area live under difficult economic conditions, making it difficult for parents to send their children to training centres or get them involved in activities to fill their free time, Marashdeh said.

He noted that the volunteers are highly trained and qualified and are using modern interactive methods to ensure greater attendance and participation.

"In one form or another, the initiative plays an important role in harnessing the potential of the youth and improving their chances in life," said sociology professor Hussein al-Khuzaie.

In addition to helping the targeted youth, the initiative also promotes a culture of volunteerism and participation in activities that benefit society, he said.

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