School construction III project, USAID/Jordan project

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PACR of a project (9/85-6/92) to help the Government of Jordan (GOJ) construct and equip compulsory level (Grades 1-10) schools throughout Jordan. The project succeeded in constructing, furnishing, and equipping 48 schools (vs. 40 targeted), including 1,360 classrooms, plus associated libraries, laboratories, meetings halls, laboratories, offices, and playgrounds, to accommodate some 42,000 students (5.8% of the compulsory level population) who had previously been taught in overcrowded rented facilities (usually converted residences). The new schools have produced desired improvements in space:student ratio (now 2.7 sq.m per student) and the student:teacher ratio (25:1). All the schools follow a standard design, and all services, including design, construction, construction supervision, and supply of equipment and furniture were contracted with Jordanian firms. Because the previous facilities were rented, the savings in costs from the new schools are significant, and have been used by the GOJ to construct other school facilities. Implementation was delayed somewhat due to devaluation of the Jordanian currency in 1988 and later the Gulf War, causing the PACD to be extended 9 months. There were three principal lessons learned. First, the Project Agreement included a covenant that all project schools should be used for students at the compulsory level. Due to lack of secondary schools in rural areas, however, some schools have accommodated students in grades 11 and 12. The lesson is that, in rural areas, it is not possible to build schools specifically for one level of education or another. Second, the modified fixed amount reimbursement method proved appropriate and efficient for construction financing, but not for procurement of furniture and equipment; cost-reimbursement should be used in future procurement. Third, if properly selected, Jordanian firms are capable of adequate construction and construction supervision.

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