Right To Play in Jordan

Right To Play has been working in Jordan since 2006 to support children and youth in the most vulnerable areas of the country to get an education, build important life skills, and contribute to their schools and communities.

Right To Play Jordan provides transformative opportunities to Jordanian, Palestinian, and Syrian children, youth, caregivers and teachers through play-based programming and sport for development.

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The challenges faced by children and youth in Jordan

Jordan has the second-highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. The latest estimates put the number of Syrian refugees in the country at 1.3 million. Jordan also hosts refugees from Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, as well as more than two million registered Palestinian refugees.

Despite Jordan’s attempt to open up pathways to employment and education for refugees, the country’s already limited resources, coupled with high levels of unemployment and inflation, leave Jordanians and their refugee neighbors to compete for scarce resources and access to basic services.

Jordan has achieved a 95% net enrollment rate for basic education, and gender parity in primary education. However, the quality of education remains a significant challenge due to overcrowded classrooms, lack of resources and capacity, and urgent maintenance needs. Schools tend to rely on outdated teaching methods that focus on repetition and memorization, and offer few if any sport, cultural, or psychosocial support activities.

  • There are 3.8 million children in Jordan, 30% of whom are non-Jordanian
  • 80% of students in grades 2 and 3 read without comprehension
  • 11% of public school children surveyed reported being subjected to physical violence by teachers. More than 18% reported being subjected to verbal violence
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Improving opportunities for quality learning

Right To Play is working with the Ministry of Education and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to improve the quality of education delivered in public schools located in communities with high numbers of Syrian refugees, as well as in UNRWA schools.

We train primary school teachers on how to create child-centered, play-based and positive learning environments that help children develop to their full potential and achieve expected national curriculum outcomes. We reinforce improved teaching practice through the establishment of peer support mechanisms and by training school leadership and supervisors on coaching, mentoring, and the principles of play-based learning.

Significant numbers of older children in Jordan do not attend school, and almost one third of youth are unemployed. Right To Play offers these youth opportunities for quality informal education at the community level. The programs teach life skills like leadership, cooperation, critical thinking, and problem-solving. We have placed a particular emphasis on opportunities for girls and young women by ensuring they have safe spaces to engage in sport and structured play activities, and by addressing specific cultural barriers towards the inclusion of girls in sport.

“There have been significant changes inside the school since we collaborated with Right To Play. The learning process is more interactive, and the teachers are more confident and trained in modern methodologies that enable them to be innovative inside their classrooms. The rehabilitation work conducted inside the school and the football pitch construction has changed the shape of the school 180 degrees. We are now looked at as a model school in Irbid, and our students are very happy.” — School principal, preparatory school for girls

Creating safe and supportive learning environments

Right To Play seeks to improve the physical environment in which children learn. In addition to rehabilitating classrooms, play spaces and sanitation facilities, we provide teachers with training on maintenance, hygiene and sanitation. We also use play-based activities to teach good hygiene and sanitation.

We also create opportunities for children to participate in improving their school environments through activities such as upcycling to create art and the establishment of school gardens. The Student Parliaments we support give children a voice and a forum to share their hopes and dreams for their environments and lives – in one school, students advocated for the installation of solar panels at the facility, a project which soon came to fruition. Parent Teacher Councils also come together to ensure schools are taking appropriate responsibility for their children’s learning.

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Promoting social cohesion through sport and play

Right To Play uses sport and structured play to bring together refugee and host community children. Trained community coaches use various forms of play to encourage children to collaborate with one another and to develop non-violent conflict resolution skills. These messages of peace and social cohesion are transmitted to the wider community, including by children in leadership roles, through themed play days and sports tournaments.

Stay connected to children in Jordan

Right To Play Jordan supports quality education in public schools in partnership with the Ministry of Education, and in schools operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Through partnerships with community-based organizations, Right To Play reaches the most vulnerable children with informal education and other community-based programming. Right To Play also has strategic relationships with the Ministry of Youth, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Culture.

Our programs in Jordan are also supported by the Government of Canada, Walter Haefner Stiftung, Promedica Stiftung, Norad, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Koltes, and supporters like you.