Elementary and Kindergarten
The village of Ader is in the south of Jordan about 120 kms. from Amman, situated about 950 metres about sea level and a short distance north east of Karak. Excavations, which have taken place in the area, have revealed the walls of a large ancient city, which existed many years before Jesus Christ. Ruins of a temple can be seen in the village today.
The name of Ader is believed to come from a Syriac name meaning “the farm or the place of harvest”. There has been a Christian presence here from the first century AD. This is confirmed by the existence of crosses, dating from that century, etched on the walls of a grotto inside the Convent. In AD 134, the Roman Emperor Adrian visited Ader when he inaugurated the road between Aqaba and Jerash making the transportation of goods between the south and north much easier.
The surrounding area is under developed with the majority of the population relying on agriculture for a living, though some find employment in the public sector.
The Latin parish was established here in 1919 when some Bedouin Christians settled in the ruins of the village. The Patriarch sent priests from nearby parishes to help, until he was able in 1928 to appoint a permanent parish priest. It was the parish priest of Karak who built the first chapel in Ader, on a piece of land given by one of the parishioners. He also started a small school at the same time. It was not until 1980 that the parish priest, Father Aldo Tolotto, built the permanent school.
There was further construction of classrooms for the elementary school between 1984 and 1985.
Nowadays there is a population of about 4500 in the town and its surrounding area. Of these the Latin Catholics number approximately 600 with 400 Melchites and 300 Greek Orthodox. Both Christians and Muslims in the area live together in complete harmony.
The Kindergarten is housed in a newer building, at the side of the main school, constructed in 1981 with finance from the Belgian Lieutenancy. There are four classrooms, KG1 has restricted numbers because of the size of the rooms. In KG2 there are three classes..The children have to share a large playground with the main school but there is an outdoor space, which has in the past, been used as a play area. It is quite large but a distance from the classrooms and in need of refurbishing because its equipment consists of a few old and unsafe, metal play frames. Government regulations now require that there is an outside sand pit area. This will be possible as there is a small area, close by the entrance, which could be converted to provide this facility.
Inside the displays on the walls were very good and varied and the classrooms were quite well equipped. The one television is on a mobile stand enabling it to be used in all classrooms.
The Elementary School was built in 1980. Until the building of the school at Wassieh it took from grade one to grade six. Now it takes children from grade one to grade three. There are two classes in each grade, with an average size of 30.
As well as the classrooms, there is a computer laboratory with only 10 computers which means that the pupils have to share, sometimes three to a set. The library is well stocked but some of the books, particularly for reference, are very old. The rest are well used. Two part time teachers come to the school for computer studies and music. The teacher for computer comes from Smakieh and the music teacher from Wassieh.
There is no hall or multi-purpose room. Most celebrations and events take place outside on the play area, which is quite suitable for this, having stepped sides providing seating for spectators.
There is no heating for the cold period of the year. The toilets are outside and have to be used by the teachers as well as the pupils. These have recently been upgraded by renovation and redecoration..
The school day begins at 7.45 and ends at 1.00, this timing being because the same buses are used for transporting the students to and from Wassieh.
In 2003 a new Parish Church was dedicated to Saint Joseph having been built with the help of contributions from the parishioners and donations from the Belgian, German and Dutch Lieutenancies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
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