Under the patronage of the Princess Basma bint Talal on Saturday, 77 Jordanian high school students from Karak and Tafileh graduated from the English Access Micro-Scholarship Program (Access) on September 30.
Funded by the U.S. Embassy in Amman, the Access program has been implemented since 2015 in several communities throughout Jordan by the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), through the Princess Basma Centers for Development.
This year's graduates make up the fifth cohort that has graduated through JOHUD. Over the past two years, these 77 students received a total of 400 training hours to include classes after school and during summer vacation as well as numerous extra-curricular activities designed to improve their English language skills and proficiency. The program targets high-performing students from underrepresented areas in the Kingdom.
In a recorded speech, Princess Basma commended the graduates, and said that their participation in the program reflected their commitment to learning, their eagerness to be part of the program and acquire English language skills and expertise, and be better prepared for the future.
Princess Basma said that, the advanced level and mastery demonstrated by the students through the program illustrated their ambitions and aspiration for the future. She stressed the importance of "Access" in opening up new horizons for students to learn, boost their self-confidence, and know more about other cultures.
Princess Basma thanked the U.S. Embassy in Amman for supporting the project and expressed her keenness for the program to enable more students to learn English in the future. She also thanked the teachers for their efforts and dedication to helping the students in class and through other program activities.
U.S. Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Yael Lempert said, "Over 6,000 Jordanians have graduated from the Access program, and we are pleased to welcome the 77 new alumni from Karak and Tafileh. The Access program empowers Jordanian young people by developing their English language skills, preparing them for future jobs and study in multicultural environments, and providing them tools to become the dynamic community, business, and national leaders of the future."
Zina Karaki, the Coordinator of Learning and Educational Care at JOHUD, emphasized that the program's significance extends beyond merely acquiring English language skills. Instead, it plays a pivotal role in fostering a spirit of cooperation, tolerance, and global citizenship. Moreover, it opens doors to additional educational and employment prospects for program graduates.
She noted that the program also plays a crucial part in equipping graduates to become catalysts for positive change within their schools and communities. It encourages the promotion of values such as tolerance and the pursuit of a more peaceful and interconnected world, particularly in a dynamic and culturally diverse global landscape.
The Access program aims to boost students' proficiency in the English language with the help of teachers who are selected according to specific criteria and principles. In addition to the standard training hours, the students are engaged in a range of skill-boosting cross-cultural activities and community service initiatives.
The program adopts the latest teaching methods, enabling students to interact in the learning process, using innovative and effective interactive methods. It also includes drama workshops, story-telling sessions, and public speaking training in English, contributing to developing students’ personal skills, and enhancing their role in the community.