Literacy and Numeracy: Paving the Way for Rami’s Future

Thursday 21 May 2015

Rami is 12 years old and the eldest of his two siblings. In Syria Rami went to school and had just began a semester in fourth grade when he and his family were forced to leave the country due to the ongoing conflict in his country. This was nearly four years ago, and Rami has been living in Jordan as a refugee ever since.

Upon trying to register in school in East Amman, Rami was forced to repeat third grade in order to enroll in school in Jordan. For three years Rami went to school, despite overcrowded classrooms and discrimination from local children.

“I was constantly bullied at school by older boys because I was a Syrian refugee,” shared Rami, “sometimes children would throw things at our house because they didn’t want us in this country. It eventually became unsafe for us to leave the house.”

“My class had 39 students, and the teachers were not willing to help if a student didn’t understand a subject. I was 11 years old and still unable to read or write,” he added. Walking long distances, bullying and an unsuitable learning environment led Rami’s parents to take him out of school over 6 months ago.

With support from the UK Government (UKAid), Save the Children established a centre in East Amman where a range of services is provided for vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian children and families. The “Mahatta Community Centre” offers informal education sessions (numeracy and literacy), psychosocial support activities (life skills and resiliency), parent sessions, and early childhood education.

During Save the Children’s community outreach, Rami’s family was approached and introduced to the centre. Immediately Rami, his siblings and his mother signed up to start attending the first cycle of activities. Both Rami and his brother enrolled in informal education classes, while his mother registered for parent sessions along with her three year old daughter who would start early childhood education.

Rami has been attending informal education classes on a daily basis for two months now, and has two more to go. Literacy and numeracy lessons are what the informal education classes comprise of. For two hours each day, Rami learns Arabic and Math. Unlike his old school, Rami is among only 11 children in his class.

“Here we are treated very well and taught with quality because teachers pay attention to us and help us when we have questions,” said Rami.

Not only has Save the Children’s community centre allowed Rami a safe space to leave his house to, but it also helped him to read and write, something Rami had been trying to learn.

 

“Reading, writing and knowing how to do math are very important for our future as children. I will not be able to have a job or ever be successful if I didn’t learn these, and I’m very happy that I can read and writow after my classes at the centre,” he shared.

For a stronger impact, and to minimize tensions between refugees and the local community the activities at the centre target both Syrian and Jordanian families.

Also aside from the activities, the programme provides nutritious snacks to each child and parent at the centre, as well covers transportation costs by reimbursing the families with an equivalent of 1.00 GBP. This is extremely essential in order for these families to attend, as they all face great challenges with their livelihoods, an issue that could threaten their children’s education, health and protection.

“I still have to walk a little to come to the centre each day, but because I know I’m going to a happy place, I don’t mind the distance,” said Rami.