by Nebras Maslamani
For more than 40 years, archaeologists have been working in Faynan and its adjacent wadis to explore its prehistoric and historic past. In the OPOF project, we are giving back the knowledge gained to the communities who live there.
The OPOF project is supporting the six schools in Faynan and Greigra by producing an educational kit established by Dr. Arwa Badran at Durham University that engages the curriculum with archaeology and provides training for teachers in the schools on how to implement it with the students, and by drawing on the opportunity provided by the new Faynan Museum. The educational pack will serve as a resource, guidance, and a reference for the teachers and students to draw on to explore the cultural heritage of Faynan in their educational activities.
A schools needs assessment was conducted during an earlier stage of the OPOF project by Dr. Carol Palmer and Firas Bqa’in at the CBRL, followed by a more recent study of the school curriculum by Dr. Arwa. On 9 and 10 October 2019, I visited four schools with Dr. Arwa to conduct interviews with the Geography, History, and Civic Education teachers, and with other interested teachers who could provide input into the process of creating the educational kit. These interviews were to ensure the educational kits met with teacher’s abilities to implement, the requirements of the curriculum and the resources available.
Interviews were held at Hai Al Sharif Naser Co-Essential School, Old Fenan Co-Essential School, Qraiqra Comprehensive Co-Secondary School, New Fenan Co-Essential School with targeted members of the school committees. The teachers were keenly interested in learning and engaging with the cultural heritage to support their students.
Dr. Arwa’s focus will include working with teachers of fifth, sixth, and seventh graders, by providing a training course for teachers on how to implement the participatory established educational kits while teaching the students.
Dr. Arwa Badan is leading Newton-Khalidi funded project called Learning from Multicultural Amman. The project is providing training about museum education for staff of museums in Jordan, including Faynan museum in Southern Jordan. To learn more information about the project, click here.
Old Fenan Co-Essential School near the Feynan Ecolodge, serves students from first to tenth grade since 1989. The school faces many challenges, as teachers are required to teach two grades in one classroom due to the limited space. The school has frequent power cuts and limited resources. However, it is the one and only school to serve the surrounding Bedouin families who first came to Faynan in 1948 and live in traditional Bedouin tents. The school’s graduates have reached high levels of education. Interviews were with Suleiman Aloudat, Geography, History and Civic Education Teacher, and Mohammed Oudat, Sport and Art Teacher.