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World Heritage Skills-Development Course for Young People in the Arab Region

Petra, Jordan

Event

The 1st sub-Regional World Heritage Skills Development Course in the Arab Region held in Petra, Jordan (2002) scientifically supervised by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).

Objectives

Enhance young peoples awareness and sense of ownership of the heritage

  • Develop a manual of best practices in the field of hands-on conservation training activities for young people
  • Create a model of cooperation between schools and the World Heritage site

Participants

16 Students (aged 14-16) and 5 teachers from Jordan, Lebanon and Syria participated in the course which focused on the basic techniques of archaeological digs.

Outcome

The Workshop demonstrated that heritage can be important educational resource. It contributes to developing students' analytical capacity and powers of observation. It also promotes class discussions on fundamental issues and stimulates the search for new ideas and solutions.

It is possible to establish cooperation between educators and site managers.

The Workshop also demonstrated that students are able to understand complex subjects such as deterioration and other conservation issues if they are presented effectively. In the same way, the students can become aware that the preservation of heritage is also their responsibility and become, if adequately prepared, the best defenders of their own heritage.

In 2003, a manual "Introducing Young People to Heritage Site Management and Protection - A practical manual for secondary school teachers in the Arab region" was published. It addresses student between 12-18 years old and teachers, presents the overall concept and reflects the activities undertaken during the skills development course in Petra. This manual of best practices in the field of hands-on conservation serves as a tool to assist educators in raising awareness among future decision makers and guardians of the World Heritage.

These series of related activities have set a precedent for future long-term cooperation agreement at the national level between schools and management site administrators particularly in Jordan.

 The methods and approaches adopted at Petra were conceived as a model for expanding such activities within the Arab region and elsewhere.

Jordan Education Ministry expressed its commitment towards the integration of World Heritage in regular curriculum based on the World Heritage in Young Hands Kit and the Petra manual in Jordan.

Recommendations

  1. Repeat this course in other countries in order to share this experience with other Arab students;
  2. Invite the Ministries if Education in the Arab countries to introduce the theme of World Heritage in school curricula;
  3. Encourage the organization of similar training workshops in order to promote interest in the safeguard of World Heritage in the Arab region;
  4. Invite the Ministries of Information to disseminate video documentation dealing with the theme of heritage protection;
  5. Establish a "Heritage Day" and launch an awareness-raising campaign dealing with particular themes for young people;
  6. Invite each school near a site to adopt a monument in order to make a local population aware of its value and fragility;
  7. Request the Park Management Authority in Petra to provide mobile sanitary facilities in appropriate places for pedestrians;
  8. Invite the national institutions concerned with providing adequate signs to display historical information for visitors at the entrance of the site and at important monuments to facilitate understanding and orientation;
  9. Propose that the above-mentioned institutions install information display boards for tourists clearly illustrating how not to behave on the site and explain the reasons for these instructions.

Organizers

The Jordanian National Commission for UNESCO
The Department of Antiquities of Jordan
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
UNESCO ASPnet
UNESCO Amman Office; and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).