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Rania goes back to school with kids in New Delhi

March 9, 2006
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Jordan's Queen Rania brought some excitement into the lives of a throng of underprivileged children when she jetted into the Indian capital New Delhi on Friday. Over one hundred impoverished youngsters were overjoyed when the popular royal went along to join them for the morning in their new school.

The mum of four, who is visiting the populous nation in her role as a Unicef goodwill ambassador, journeyed to the slums to the south of the city in order to meet her young hosts. Once inside the makeshift classroom she was told of how a new education program is helping build a brighter future for disadvantaged children all over the country.

Students gathered inside the improvised centre, which used to be a giant water tank, would have been forgiven for having difficulty concentrating on their lessons, after the glamorous VIP crouched down amongst them. King Abdullah's elegant wife watched intently as the teachers worked by candlelight to give their young charges basic elementary skills.

The school is one of 3,000 alternative learning centres that have been set up in a combined effort by the United Nations, the Indian government and over 180 non-governmental organisations. The scheme works by taking in children who have missed out on early education and providing them with enough skills to reintegrate into normal schools.

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Photo: ©
Rania crouches down in the makeshift classroom with the young students. The new scheme is giving India's disadvantaged youngsters a second chance at educationPhoto: © AFPy
Photo: ©
The Jordanian royal also found time to meet up with India's Congress party president, Sonia GandhiPhoto: © AFP

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