UNESCO and Korea provide TVET training scholarships to Jordanian and Syrian youth

09/05/2019
Amman, Jordan

Khaleel Al Shahmeh, TVET trainee

Fleeing the conflict in Syria, Khaleel Al Shahmeh and his family arrived in Jordan in 2014. The timing could not have been worse; he had just finished 10th grade and now Khaleel would need to adapt to a brand new education system. The family settled in Mafraq and despite struggling to adjust to his new circumstances, Khaleel registered for the Jordanian Tawjihi.

At home, sick with worry about the rest of the family members who had not managed to leave Syria, Khaleel’s father suffered a heart attack. Following surgery, it became clear that his father could no longer continue his physical work as he was no longer permitted to lift more than a few pounds. Barely 16 years old, Khaleel had suddenly become the main breadwinner for his household of eight. Ultimately, Khaleel persevered by undertaking the Tawjihi exams but without success.

As time went on, Khaleel began to think about how to improve his employable skills. He studied to be a Network Engineering Technician at a local university but after completing the 16 months of training, he became aware of how difficult it would be as a refugee, to land a job in this sector.

When Khaleel heard from friends about the scholarships funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea and offered at Al Quds College, he applied immediately and was ecstatic to be accepted into the Construction program. Khaleel’s scholarship is one of the 250 scholarships offered under this project, supporting access to meaningful, accredited post-basic education for 75 vulnerable Jordanian youth and 175 Syrian refugee youth in Jordan. The project is implemented by the UNESCO Amman office, which has been taking a leadership role in ensuring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Sustainable Development Goal 4 focuses on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning. His teacher, Raed Al Turk speaks highly of his student, “Khaleel is known for his initiation, motivation, commitment and dedication throughout the classes and I think he will be employed immediately after completing the training”.

I feel really lucky to have this great opportunity to start a new career and obtain an internationally recognized certificate. I enjoy the practical part of our assignments the most and when I finish the program in December, I have a few employment possibilities already lined up”