Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan visits a UNICEF-supported school project in Brazil
By Thomas Nybo
SÃO PAULO, 27 October 2008 - As part of an official state visit to Brazil, UNICEF's Eminent Advocate for Children, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, visited the UNICEF-supported Aprendiz City-School, a non-governmental organization located in the Vila Madalena district of São Paulo last week.
During her visit, Queen Rania became familiar with this "school for life" – a programme which represents the best in education. The school recognizes that being educated is much more than just reading and writing and works to address the needs of children, their families and the community.
“I was very impressed with my visit this morning to the UNICEF - supported Aprendiz City - School here in São Paulo,” said Queen Rania. “I was particularly inspired by the interest in learning of the children and adolescents who are benefiting from this innovative education programme.”
The Aprendiz City - School has been utilizing the concept of community - based education since 1997, and UNICEF has also supported this same concept throughout Brazil.
At the school, Queen Rania spoke with children, students and educators to better understand their unique methodology and how the educational needs of each child are being addressed.
“When different social actors of the community – including private and public organizations – share the responsibility for education, they help ensure a higher quality of education and also become key partners in the success of the students,” noted Queen Rania.
Support for "learning by doing"
The project’s activities have helped turn the district of Vila Madalena into a huge, outdoor classroom. Schools articulate with other community spaces, helping children and adolescents to learn everywhere, all the time.
For example, art workshops take place in museums and theatres, chemistry classes are held in restaurants, and physical education classes utilize parks located near schools.
“Learning is reinforced through Aprendiz's interactive 'learning by doing' approach in a colourful and stimulating environment – the children's own community – which plays a fundamental role in the promotion of quality, public education,” explained UNICEF’s Representative in Brazil, Marie-Pierre Poirier.
New opportunities for knowledge
The Aprendiz City-School works with each child to create new opportunities for them to broaden their knowledge. In this way, children are better prepared to face the challenges of modern life as citizens who can play a productive role in contributing to a fair and equal society.
“Children not only have the right to learn, but also have the right to be prepared to become active and productive citizens,” said Queen Rania.
Queen Rania was named UNICEF's Eminent Advocate for Children in January 2007. She plays an important role in drawing the attention of the international community and the media to the challenges affecting children around the world, with a particular focus on education.