Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) continues to open doors for youth through UNESCO-Korean scholarships
Mohammad Shehadat, 25-years-old, a young Syrian man living in Jordan who paved his way to success. “One must never let challenges stop them from achieving greatness”, said Mohammad.
Mohammad moved from Syria to Jordan with his family in 2013. At that time, he was feeling hopeless. After living in uncertainty for three years in Jordan, Mohammad was motivated to turn his life around. He realised his future would not wait for him unless he improved his skills or obtained a degree that would help him find a stable income.
Mohammad’s hunger for knowledge and success only grew stronger with time. In December 2018, he came across an advertisement from Luminus Technical University College (LTUC) promoting a Diploma scholarship as part of the UNESCO’s project “Provision of TVET, On-The-Job-Training and Entrepreneurship Education to Youth affected by the Syria Crisis in Jordan”, which is funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea. Without hesitation, Mohammad applied for the scholarship to study the Business Discipline. He started his training in May 2019 and graduated in July 2020. Then Mohammad was better able to understand the demands of today’s labour market and utilise this new-found skills to pursue his career path.
Mohammad shared his first experience at the LTUC: “On my first day, facilitators were friendly and supportive, they welcomed us on board with a detailed orientation on how to settle on campus and adapt to the learning environment”. He added: “I was excited, because studying makes me feel alive, and gaining more skills offered me unique opportunity to contribute positively to society”.
In view of the COVID-19 situation, Mohammad helped those in need. He launched an e-learning platform called “Expatriate Student Affairs” for youth living in refugee camps in Jordan, providing them with skills in business, marketing, self-development and Arabic language. During the course, Mohammad was chosen by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Youth Corporation, amongst five others as the most influential individual who supports education for the vulnerable youth in camps. He was also selected as a spokesperson for the Syrian youth in Jordan during the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) event in September 2020.
“It was an honour to be selected by UNESCO as the spokesperson for the Syrian youth in Jordan for this event”, said Mohammad. This high-level event was celebrated virtually to commemorate and promote the UN International Day that calls for the end of attacks on education. “I was able to express our struggles and challenges as refugees, and I hope things will turn around one day”, said Mohammad.
Mohammad grew to become a confident and competent volunteer in the research field with different humanitarian organisations. He previously worked as a freelance researcher with World Vision International. Mohammad is also working as a volunteer with Paper Airplanes, a non-profit organisation which aims at matching conflict-affected individuals with personal tutors for 12–16 week sessions conducted via video conferencing platforms. Through this initiative, Mohammad supports students in education and professional development, with particular interest in drafting cover letters for universities and research for scholarships.
“I felt dedicated and motivated to be a part of a team spirited atmosphere, I loved my work at World Vision International”, said Mohammad. “I want to make sure that everyone knows they have the right to education, the right to work and to be successful in life.” Mohammad is grateful for the doors that the UNESCO-TVET scholarship funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea opened for him.
UNESCO, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4 on ensuring quality education, is supporting the Government of Jordan in ensuring equitable continuity of education. The project is fully aligned with different national policies and strategies such as the National Strategy for Human Resource Development 2016-2025 and the Jordan Response Plan for the Syria Crisis (JRP) 2020-2022.