Children fighting in the school yard, students vandalising their own university and also within the refugee camps and the communities which are overstrained due to the fact that they receive a large number of refugees, violence occurs often as a problem - Jordan bears an extremely high potential for violence in everyday life. The current economic and social tensions, compounded by a tense domestic and external situation, exacerbate the problem. The educational institutions are severely affected by the violent expressions of familial, tribal and political conflicts. There is a lack of spaces for learning how to interact constructively and how one can deal with opposite views or diverging value systems without resorting to violence.
Our team consists of experts from Jordanian universities, NGOs and foundations as well as the Theodor Schneller School and the Berghof Foundation, all working together. In small groups directed at different target groups (students, teachers, social workers, refugee aid workers), various components of the trainings and curricula on nonviolent education, are developed and tested. Results will be shared, discussed and revised in expert-meetings as well as at an intended conference for higher education.
Aims & Outcomes
Jordanian educational experts were brought together with the aim of contributing to a sustainable, constructive and positive conflict transformation in order to strengthen the core values of non-violence, tolerance, mutual respect and participation in the Jordanian education system. Together they discussed concepts for qualification measures for nonviolent education, which have been put into practice in schools, universities and the work with refugees.
The Project 2013-2015
Following a series of workshops with lecturers and students carried out by the Berghof Foundation, Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with three universities in 2015 (University of Jordan, Petra University, Al Balqa Applied University). To make the approaches of nonviolent education at universities and their success visible throughout the country and to expand the circle of the participating universities, representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research have strongly favoured a nationwide university conference.
During the project two multi-leveled qualification courses on nonviolent education took place in Germany and Jordan. The 45 participants - key persons from different education sectors who work as university lecturers, teachers, students, social workers - were qualified as "Trainers for Nonviolent Education". They conducted and evaluated numerous workshops on nonviolent education in schools, universities and refugee camps. In this period modules were used which were elaborated earlier in the handbook/manual like streetfootball for tolerance, storytelling and interactive theatre. In light of this, the Jordanian Ministry of Education thoroughly supports the usage of such qualification measures for model schools throughout the country.
The field of activity of this project has been expanded in 2016 to the educational work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan. First experiences and approaches exist on the basis of the cooperation with participants of the qualification courses who are active in refugee education. Cooperations and connections with experienced international NGO's in the field of refugee work in Jordan have been established through the participants of the qualification courses and workshops on nonviolent education were carried out in the Zaatari Camp and the Azraq Camp.
The Project 2016-2017
- Implementation of the Curriculums "School without Violence"
In the first part of the project the previous experiences with nonviolent education in Jordan will be condensed in a curriculum called "School without Violence". Principles of schools, instructors and social workers of 15 model schools from all around the country that are willing to test and implement the curriculum in their schools will receive relevant preparation and qualification measures.
- Conceptualisation of the curriculum "University against Violence"
The integration of nonviolent education in the lectures and the teaching routine at Jordanian universities will be enhanced especially in the education of teachers and social workers. Like in "School without Violence" the previous experiences of the project within the area of universities will be condensed in a draft of a curriculum "Universities against Violence". A conference on the topic "Universities against Violence" will be prepared and implemented. Representatives of Jordanian universities as well as political decision-makers who are responsible for the higher education sector will be invited to this conference. Jordanian researchers and German experts on violence prevention will comment on the proposed curriculum and make suggestions from their professional point of view.
- Conflict-sensitive refugee work
The project also includes the implementation of model workshops in refugee camps in Jordan as well as an expert discussion in Germany with experienced Jordanian and German refugee aid workers who are active in the education field. This last aspect is gaining more and more importance in light of the refugee crisis in Germany and Jordan. Refugee work in both Jordan and Germany could benefit from an exchange of experiences.
Key actors for the development and implementation of curricula on civic and nonviolent education are educational experts, university presidents, school principals and personnel of the Ministry of Education. For the implementation of contents and methods, qualified multipliers in the formal and non-formal education system (teachers, educators, youth workers, active students) are crucial. The project provides them with learning spaces and training. It builds a network of education institutions for the development and implementation of curricula on civic and nonviolent education.
The Berghof Foundation seeks to enlarge this network for peace education among ministries, universities, schools, political foundations and NGOs in Jordan and the region. Further opportunities for reaching out to neighbouring countries are currently being explored.