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School heating plan is being implemented

Dec 31,2016 - Last updated at Dec 31,2016

I am writing in response to the article “Public school heating still an issue despite efforts by stakeholders” (The Jordan Times, December 30-31, 2016).

I would like to thank The Jordan Times for its concern over the matter, but I would also like to point out that there is a solid plan to solve the problem in a holistic way being implemented, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders, in line with His Majesty King Abdullah’s generous initiative.

In 2013, the Princess Alia Foundation, having signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education and with the generous assistance of private individuals as well as large companies and other entities, managed to assist by installing solar panels on 47 government schools.

The plan is to eventually cover all the schools in the Kingdom with renewable energy and with split units in all classrooms, which provide both warmth in winter and cooling in summer (which is a huge problem for many areas, especially in light of the overcrowding of classrooms).

This provides not only a better learning environment but also a safe alternative to kerosene and a solution to the problem of cost for heating fuel. It also means that the schools can fulfil their other electrical requirements (such as lighting and, most important in view of the curricular need for this, computers), while saving the Ministry of Education the cost of such power.

It also feeds low cost electricity to the electricity companies after school hours and provides a resulting income for the schools themselves: a comprehensive solution.

While the bulk of the schools completed so far are in the Jordan Valley, three have also been completed in Jerash (Souf and Sakeb), which was correctly cited in the article as an area where all schools do need heating, with a further 50 schools in line to be completed this coming year in this area due to the extremely cold temperatures.

I realise that solar energy was mentioned in the article, but I felt it important to clarify that the ministry does have concrete assistance with a practical vision and while it is sadly not happening fast enough, due to the huge number of schools (with new ones of necessity being built every year), there is a practical and healthy solution being implemented. 

All thanks to King Abdullah for his initiative, which demonstrates concern for the well-being of all. 

And immense gratitude also to all who have contributed to the solar energy for our deserving schools.

Alia Al Hussein,

Amman

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