The Princess Alia Foundation: Transforming Lives Through Educational Support in Jordan
The Princess Alia Foundation

Education is an essential element that plays a vital role in shaping the future of individuals and society. It provides the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to solve complex problems, improve decision-making, and create new opportunities. It is not a luxury but a fundamental right that should be accessible to everyone, regardless of socio-economic background. Education helps to eradicate poverty by creating employment opportunities and promoting economic growth. An educated child grows up to be a responsible citizen who can contribute to society’s progress and bring about positive change.

The Princess Alia Foundation is an inspiring organization that supports schools in affected areas of Jordan; under the visionary leadership of HRH Princess Alia bint al Hussein, Director, and Founder, this generous organization aims to uplift the standard of living in Jordan by educating young minds. This initiative will not only educate the children but also prevent social injustice like child labor and child abuse. The organization is a ray of hope for the affected regions of Jordan’s bright future.

The Knowledge Review had the privilege of interviewing HRH Princess Alia bint al Hussein to learn more about this inspiring organization.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

Can you provide an overview of your institution’s mission and vision for shaping the future of education in Jordan?

In the Princess Alia Foundation, we work in parallel with other governmental bodies and local communities on different levels of engagement to enhance the learning environment in the vulnerable areas of Jordan (Pockets of poverty) by providing the public schools with the most critical logistics that support the educational process (A4 papers and environment-friendly sustainably powered cooling and heating systems).

What unique educational programs and approaches does your school offer to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the future?

As a result of the limited resources available for the students at public schools in the poverty pockets and because of the Jordanian response to the Syrian crisis, the Ministry of Education struggles to support Extracurricular Education activities in 3865 public schools (more than 1,634,673 students) in Jordan. All children, whether local or refugees, are entitled to education in our governmental schools.

We, The Princess Alia Foundation, are trying to support the schools and enhance the environment of the public schools by installing solar systems to provide cooling and heating during summer and winter. We are also trying to spread the knowledge of the importance of saving the environment by introducing basic recycling activities to the students and installing a small system in each school.

This project reduces the energy bill of the Ministry of Education because of the amount of sunlight during non-school hours. The schools were able to feed a lot of energy into the national grids, and this caused much fewer power cuts and power shortages, especially in the poor areas. Because the grids were receiving more power, and this was a national benefit. How does your school foster innovation, critical thinking, and creativity among students to ensure they are future-ready?

Despite the numerous challenges facing the Jordanian educational system, the ministry welcomes the contributions of national and international partners in supporting the management and implementation of joint programs, assisting in the provision of required resources, and supporting the realization of a modern educational system that forms a critical element of building a prosperous future for upcoming generations. An example of this support is PAF’s and MOE’s collaboration to enhance the educational environment in public schools. We also developed an interactive application for the students to become conversant with energy saving and renewable energy.

Could you highlight any notable achievements or initiatives demonstrating your schools’ commitment to excellence and forward-thinking education in Jordan?

One hundred ninety-nine schools were implemented by PAF-funded projects and converted totally to an environment-friendly space using solar systems for energy and recycling paper revenue to support the schools with A4 paper needs (about 9000 extra A4 reams were donated by the banks association as revenue for the paper recycling for the public schools through the agreement of green prints for paper recycling between PAF and banks in Jordan).

We were happy to note that students and teachers spent more time in the classrooms, and the rate of students passing exams rose notably. We also trained jobless members of the local communities in the maintenance of the solar energy apparatus to save on the transport of the companies who installed them and to provide jobs for the local communities.

Can you share insights into the extracurricular activities, clubs, or programs your school offers to encourage holistic development and leadership skills in students?

We, The Princess Alia Foundation, participate in most extra-curricular activities in public schools, especially in Jordan Valley. We try to create and develop environmentally friendly places with an aware youth, using the most recent studies on the environment and climate change.

The extracurricular activities we have been involved in are as follows:

  • Green Prints Recycling Initiative and Program: This aims to teach the students and the surrounding local community the importance of reducing the amount of trash delivered to landfills as one of the development sustainability goals by the UN.
  • Sustainable Education Through Renewable Energy: This aims to find an environment-friendly school and student-friendly space to reduce the dropout of students from schools because of weather factors such as scorching weather in summer and severe cold weather in winter.

How does your school support teachers’ professional development and well-being, recognizing that educators play a pivotal role in shaping the future through education?

During the implementation of our projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, we provide the teachers with capacity-building training regarding ecosystem and environmental issues.

What efforts does your school make to promote sustainability, environmental awareness, and social responsibility among students and the school community?

As sustainable planning for the post-implementation period of the project, we formed, in collaboration with the school community and staff, an environmental committee under the supervision of an elected teacher to sustain the project goals and ensure that the awareness of the local community around the school is continuous and delivered correctly. The environmental committee keeps planning new community-based activities and initiatives as a part of its social responsibility.

How does your school engage parents and the community to create a collaborative environment that supports students’ education and prospects?

All of our activities are with teenagers under 18 years old, and at our activities, we always engage the parent at the beginning of the approval process. Then, we invite them to community-based activities to reach them as an indirect project beneficiary through their children.

How do you incorporate entrepreneurship and practical skills into the curriculum to prepare students for a rapidly evolving job market and entrepreneurial landscape?

While implementing our projects in the schools of poverty pockets, we introduced new and trendy making-money businesses such as working from home, small businesses, green technology, and recycling or reusing things. And we always encourage them to find a company that solves a problem that faces the communities at the current speed of life.

Recent Posts