UNDP-Shell Partnership: Reshaping a learning journey
Basra, 23 April 2017- Baneen is amongst the nearly 300 students at Al Jawadain Primary School enjoying and benefiting from new facilities, rehabilitated in early 2016 under the UNDP-Shell Partnership.
- Through the UNDP-Shell Partnership, Al Jawadain School underwent a major rehabilitation including an additional second floor with classrooms
- “I think my school looks really nice now. It is the best school in Al Dair,” said Baneen
- "My students also have improved test scores now that the learning environment has been adequately enabled,” said Baneen’s teacher, Mohammed
“I am in the sixth grade, and have been attending Al Jawadain School since the first grade,” said Baneen, 12. “My younger sisters and I attend this school.”
Amongst many challenges, Baneen and her schoolmates were struggling with the lack of space in the classrooms. Nearly 50 students were crowded in one classroom, sharing desks as well as the teachers’ attention, consequently impacting their receptivity and learning.
“Our classrooms were too hot and there were too many children, some of them sat on the floor, and it was very hard for us to learn and pay attention in class,” shared Baneen.
Along with other school renovations, construction of playgrounds and interventions on road safety for children, Al Jawadain School in particular, was rehabilitated by the UNDP-Shell Partnership through the Welfare Fund- Cost Recovery by South Oil Company (SOC).
To address the space challenge at Al Jawadain School, the rehabilitation project included the construction of a second floor with six fully equipped classrooms, a teachers’ room and a science laboratory that are now all being utilized. Along with air conditioning units, new large desks were provided in each classroom that now accommodates a sufficient number of students.
“I think my school looks really nice now. It is the best school in Al Dair,” said Baneen. “All the children want to stay at school for longer hours, because we have everything here.”
Baneen’s teacher, Mohammed, noted: “There was a rise in the students’ attendance after the new facilities and renovation were completed. My students also have improved test scores now that the learning environment has been adequately enabled."
“School is important to me because I dream of becoming an architect in the future, and I’m studying very hard to continue my secondary education and university degree,” said Baneen.
The UNDP-Shell Partnership in Basra was launched in 2012 to build participatory planning and local area development capacity, and implement respective activities in communities near the Majnoon Oil Field in the Governorate of Basra, South of Iraq. The Partnership also aims to enable high quality vocational training and support the micro, small, and medium enterprise environment.
Text and photo by Farah Sayegh/UNDP Iraq