Event Reports

Project Citizenship

KAS Amman and JCCE co-organized series of workshops about citizenship which is an extension of previous training workshops started in 2009, the focus of the project is the implementation of human rights in school curricula by training teachers as well as the employees of the Educational Curriculum department at the Ministry of Education on how to teach concepts of human rights among students in a simple and explicit style. The training workshop will continue during the years 2012,2013 and 2014.

Event

KAS Amman Office and JCCE initiated in 2009 several training workshops to present the „Concept of Citizenship”. Along with the rising number of demonstrations during the Arab Spring, this concept has gained, once again, significant importance. Therefore, KAS Amman and JCCE decided to extend their work on this topic and organize further trainings in 2012 and 2013. The focus of the project is the implementation of human rights in school curricula by training teachers as well as the employees of the Educational Curriculum department at the Ministry of Education on how to teach concepts of human rights among students in a simple and explicit style. The aim is to train Jordanians – especially among the youth - to become active citizens, who are aware of their rights and responsibilities towards themselves and others. The project does not only focus on Amman but includes most governorates of Jordan.

During the opening session, Ms. Hanin Al Ramahi, the coordinator of this project, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of these training workshops and the related long term gain for students.

Ms. Nidaa Al Shraideh who spoke on behalf of Ms. Maria Zandt, the Resident Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung - Amman Office, explained the work of KAS in Jordan, during the last three decades, which concentrated, besides others, on human rights and the

rule of law, in particular among the youth. Also, she referred to the importance of the citizenship concept which it is not only a privilege enjoyed by the citizens, but requires also duty and commitment.

Details

Three 4 days training workshops were held in Amman with the participation of school teachers and curriculum supervisors from the Ministry of Education. Each training workshop combines twenty participants from different provinces of Jordan that cover North, South and Middle the governorates.

The main trainers - two per workshop - were Mr. Khalil Radwan, Ms. Fatina Al Kayyali, Mr. Majdy Ghazal, Ms. Yusra Al Shgour and Mr. Mahmoud Kalbouneh.

After the welcoming speech, the trainers explained, to the teachers, their method and modules they would use for conducting this training and emphasized the importance of the role of teachers, comparing them to engineers: While engineers construct by the laws of physics, teachers shape the minds of their students by constructing their skills and analytical capacities from obtained pieces of knowledge.

The trainers tackled very important topics, starting by giving a detailed explanation of the concept of citizenship which is considered the main pillar of human rights. They also introduced the meaning of human rights, and how could teachers be able to pass this knowledge citizenship, the trainers clarified that it links between the person and the place where he/she lives, or where he/she belongs to, so that each person has rights, that should be provided by the State. at the same time, he has duties to perform order to gain personal interests, such as education, health, care, participation in the decision making etc because, according to the philosophy "Active citizenship", citizens should work towards the welfare of their community through economic participation, public service, voluntary work and other such efforts to improve life for the whole community.

From the perspective of the trainers, gender equality forms an integral part of these basic concepts. Thus, teachers should also be trained in how to teach students in legal and social rights. By raising awareness among the Jordanian youth, commitment and engagement into society as part of the essential human rights will eventually lead to a higher support and acceptance of values such as dignity and rights of the individual which, consequently, will contribute to an improvement of the human rights situation in Jordan.

The trainers emphasized the importance and the need to simplify the information for their students, to benefit from the greater information as easy as possible. Here, the Ministry of Education can be supportive especially that all school curricula are computerized and all teachers have access to them so they can use data show, animation, drawings to illustrate these concepts and raise students curiosity to understand the steps of democracy made in advanced countries.

The trainers later on moved to another point regarding public policy, its meaning and its important role at local and national levels, by stating that public policies are often the way to find a solution and solve problems. They explained that there are 3 kinds of public policy: implemented public policy, old public policy that needs updating, or the lack of any public policy regarding important issues.

Having gained enough knowledge of the concepts of public policy, human rights and citizenship, the trainers divided the teachers in each workshop into four groups and asked each group to come up with an issue they are concerned about; then the 4 groups would agree upon the most important issue and try to analyse and solve it, by finding out the causes, circumstances, and effects through gathering information, using available resources such as media, investigation, personal recourses etc…., and finally come up with a public policy to overcome the issue.

Having collected all information, the 4 teams divided responsibilities among them and each took one side of the problem: the first team to present the importance of the problem; the second to evaluate the actual policy and propose an alternative for solving the problem; the third to develop the actual public policy and the fourth to develop the working plan for solving the issue.

The reason behind this step was to solicit the thinking of the teachers and raise their awareness of being a part of the community and it is their right and duty as citizens to participate in public policy.

At the end of the four days training workshop, the expected result was that the teachers would return to their respective schools and start implementing the programs within their daily lessons. At the same time, it is expected that this would increase and improve Jordanian youth's understanding of the important concepts of democracy, rule of law, and civic involvement, thereby contributing to the successful implementation of the democratic process in the Kingdom of Jordan.

The goals set in advance of the workshop were achieved and different approaches on how to integrate the concept of citizenship into their schools curricula developed.

At the end of the training all participants received a certificate of participation.