Safout is an urban area with a poor economic environment situated to the north west of Amman. The school occupies a small plot of land with no possibility of expansion. The population consists mostly of unskilled manual workers with some employment in local shops. Others go to Fuheis or Amman for work. Originally the priest lived in Ermemin and traveled between the two parishes.
The school was first established in 1935 and at that time it was a very simple construction providing a two-roomed dwelling for the priest at the side of a very small church. One of these rooms was used for the school.
Three more classrooms were built later, in 1978, to accomodate extra children as the school grew in size. This allowed the room, used as a classroom, to be returned to the priest’s accommodation. There were six grades at that time with two grades in each room. The following year, 1979, a new church was built alongside the house. This allowed the original church to become part of the school. Before this building work the Headteacher’s office and staffroom had been in a corridor between the old church and the classrooms. Now this old church building has become an office for the Principal, but, it is also used as a room for the staff because there is no other available space.
Since early 1980 a house for the priest has been built above two of the three newer classrooms, so the priest is able to live on the premises.
Safout Parish Priest and faithful 1936
In 1993 because of the falling numbers of children attending the school and new government regulations, the grades four, five and six had to be discontinued. This allowed the other three grades to have a classroom each.
After grade three about half of the children go to Fuheis, if not they go to the local government school in Safout. Most parents cannot afford fees for the private schools.
The Principal has a staff of five teachers and two assistants, all female, 7 Christian and 1 Muslim.
There are 60 children in the school, 43 Christian and 17 Muslim, 31 boys and 29 girls.
It is the smallest of the Latin Patriarchate Schools, not only in Jordan, but also in the whole of the Patriarchate diocese.
There is an average of 10 – 12 pupils in each class. One of the teachers has been in the school for 25 years and the Principal for 15. They are all dedicated and the school has a very happy and lively atmosphere. One big happy family!!
Safout, school, presbytery and church 1936
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