Secondary and Elementary
Secondary Balad 1874
Church and school
Fuheis is situated in the centre of Jordan to the north west of the capital Amman. It is a small, expanding town with a mainly Christian population. These Arab Christians were here long before Islam and have remained strong to this day. It is a very pleasant and popular area where other Christians living in the centre of Amman would like to live. Consequently when land is available for residential or business purposes it is often sold very quickly, resulting in rising prices. The surrounding area has little agriculture the main industry being the cement works, however this employs mostly cheaper labourers from outside Jordan. Many of the population, who are generally well educated, are employed in government departments or have their own businesses.
The parish was established in 1874 during the Ottoman period, which lasted until 1918. It was an age of ignorance, illness and poverty. More recently as the country has developed and modernised, the Christians of Fuheis have kept pace with these times and prospered, spreading cultural and environmental awareness. The parish has many spiritual and social activities for both young and old.
In about 1885, the first priest began to educate the boys of the area to be able to read and write in Arabic, learn Mathematics and have some knowledge of the Christian faith. From then on, the school developed and in 1887 the Patriarch was able to send two Rosary Sisters to start a school for girls.
Parish Priests of Fuheis and faithful 1936
When the first church, which has recently been renovated to provide a parish hall, was built it had two small classrooms at the entrance.
After this a new school was built at the side of the church with classrooms on the ground floor and accommodation for the Rosary Sisters above. It was basically two rooms, with the first and second grades in one room and grades three and four in the other. Later, in 1932, when a new church was built with four classrooms in the basement, it was possible to expand and take pupils up to the seventh grade. The population of the area had increased so much that this expansion was urgently needed.
A new building was constructed across the road in 1980 to provide better accommodation for the Rosary Sisters with a new Kindergarten on the ground floor.
The school then was mixed up to the sixth grade with girls only in grades six to nine. Boys had to go either to private or government schools for those grades.
With the completion of a new building in 1996 it was possible to increase the number of classrooms, so it was able to become a complete Secondary School. Again in 2002 with the discontinuation of the Kindergarten on the site, Grade seven moved across the road into the vacated rooms. The Cambridge Nazareth Trust financed the construction of a pedestrian bridge across the road linking the sites and so improving the safety of the children crossing to their classrooms. An old building next to the school was rented to provide three more classrooms.
In 2002 an American, originally from Jordan, donated a completely equipped Astrological Observatory, including an eight-inch telescope. This is unique in Jordan and is located on the roof of the main school.
There is a large, well-equipped multi-purpose hall for meetings, concerts, films and entertainments.
As well as entering competitions and other events locally and with other schools, the students collect gifts and items for children less fortunate than themselves. The annual results of the Tawjihi examination are of a high standard putting the school among the top ten in Jordan
Fuheis church, presbytery and school 1936
The total student population is 645 pupils, all Christian, 308 girls and 337 boys. There are 46 teachers, with 7 Administrative assistants, 18 male and 35 female.
The average size of class is 35 up to grades eleven and twelve where it drops to twenty-seven.
In the school year 1995 to 1996 there were 318 pupils showing that the school had doubled in size in ten years, because of the towns prosperity. For the year beginning 2004 roughly 200 children who applied to enter the school had to be refused because there were no available places.
There is a science laboratory covering Chemistry and Biology and another for Physics, two computer laboratories with a total of fifty-two computers.
Also there is a classroom for Art and Craft and a Home Economics room, but this is for girls only. An excellent choir gives concerts and entertains at other celebrations in the locality.
The Elementary school is situated at Alali, on higher ground in Fuheis, further away from the Senior School. It is very close to the large, very busy cement factory. This produces a large amount of fine dust composed of sand and cement. Consequently there are many health problems, particularly respiratory, caused by the proximity of this factory and the resulting very dusty atmosphere affecting chest and lungs. There is more poverty, which is growing, in the area. The population are mostly well educated but there are little job prospects and so they have to find work outside the area.
When a previous Headmistress died she left a yearly sum of 300JD a year, 30JD per student, to assist talented students with their studies.
The first classrooms were built in 1945. There were three rooms on the ground floor with partitions in between enabling the space to be used as a church on Sundays. In 1965 a further three classrooms were added and later, in 1986, a church was built with the library underneath.
In 1999, with the help of donations from local people and organisations plus finance from Lieutenancies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a further extension was constructed with an addition on the second floor. This gave the school the extra 8 classrooms. Now there are 19 rooms taking pupils from grades 1 to 6 (age 6 to 12). There are three classrooms for each grade except the fourth, which has four rooms. They are on three floors with classrooms and the computer laboratory in the basement, classrooms and a science laboratory on the ground floor and classrooms only on the top floor.
Classrooms are named after different towns and places in Jordan. The maximum number of pupils in a class is 34. In addition there is a room for computer technology with 17 computers, a room for science and the library. Art and Craft is a subject on the curriculum but no music is taught, instead a volunteer teacher comes to the school for training the choir. The school participates in competitions both sporting and choral, the students compose music to lyrics written by the Headmistress. There is a teacher for children with special needs and a volunteer student from a University teaches conversational English.
On the roll there are 583 students, 299 boys and 284 girls all Christian. The Principal has a teaching staff of 30, with one counsellor, two secretaries and 2 assistants. All of them are Christian. At the present time there are more applicants for places than the school can provide.
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