This week, participants are undertaking a three-day enhanced web-based spatial decision support system (SDSS) training held at the Ministry of Education. This training has been initiated under a UNESCO-led project implemented with strong collaboration and support from the GIZ under the German Jordan Cooperation, and in partnership with the Ministry of Education. UNESCO is providing technical assistance and support throughout this yearlong project which focuses on WebGIS as a support to evidence-based decision making and planning in the area of school maintenance.
Ms. Sa’eda Ramzi, UNESCO Project Officer, delivered opening remarks, acknowledging the generous support and collaboration of GIZ, welcoming participants and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) expert Mr. Ehsan Saqib, who is leading the training this week. Mr. Abdullah Hassouneh, Director of Policy and Strategic Planning Directorate at MoE, addressed participants, thanking trainees for their interest. “I believe that this software and these tools will help to support everyone who is involved in planning at the directorate, in order to facilitate better school planning”.
UNESCO Consultant Mr. Saqib began the sessions by congratulating trainees on their work thus far. “The GIS unit is now set up and we are focusing on improving it and developing the enhancements that have been requested. We will work together towards ensuring the Ministry is self-sufficient in using the system”. Mr. Saqib praised the efforts of Queen Rania Center (QRC) for supporting the GIS work thus far and thanked UNESCO for the ongoing strong implementation of this technical project. Also in attendance, Ms. Najwa Qubeilat, Director of Educational Planning and Research Directorate, communicated that the WebGIS tool should be fully utilized at the field directorate level.
This project aligns strategically with the MoE’s goals to improve school infrastructure, addressing the issue of rising numbers of students shifting from private to public schools and the associated impact on the quality of learning in schools and access and equity in education. Within the project, the School Maintenance Steering Committee is striving to develop a multi-level model for school facility management in Jordan, including capacity development opportunities for staff at the MoE and directorate level, to monitor and report on school maintenance using the Ministry’s EMIS and/or GIS platform.
The Ministry of Education is looking for ways to make better informed, strategic and cost efficient choices. The GIS based school mapping approach support this goal, leading to the development of results that can support decision-making. The project outputs are directly aligned with the National HRD Strategy 2016-2025 and the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2022, which specifically highlights that a large number of schools have urgent maintenance needs.
The action is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Goal 4 speaks to the importance of ‘building and upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender-sensitive and provide safe and non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all’.