Posted by: carlsumner | March 3, 2011

Education in Jordan

During the half-term February 19th – February 25th, I took part in a TIPD visit organised through the British Council to Jordan.  The main focus of the trip was to investigate primary science in the Jordanian education system and methods to develop creativity in teaching and learning practices.

In addition, myself and 4 other colleagues from the Lancashire region travelled as part of the Connecting Classrooms project whereby we are looking to develop strong links between schools in the UK and Jordan using technology as a focus to enhance communication and interactivity between children in different communities.

Jordan is seen as a leader in the region for developing high standards in maths and science and has a dedication from the very highest level to providing a significant portion of the country’s budget towards the education system as a whole.  There has also been an impetus over the last few years from the Ministry of Education towards enhancing the ICT skills of teachers and embedding greater opportunities for children to utilise technological advances.  The aim is to be an ICT hub for the region.

Teacher training is seen as integral for the sustained improvement of educational standards in Jordan and significant funding has been provided to enable this development.   Government run agencies such as the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (the Queen being a vociferous ambassador for equal rights and education in Jordan) and private organisations such as CADER (ChangeAgent for Arab Development and Education Reform) are leading the way in spreading methodology that has been seen in other countries, notably Western Europe and North America.

To the age of 18, the Jordanian education system is divided between 4 types of school.  Military schools provide education for children of serving personnel, private schools with fees ranging from 1500JD to 25000JD per year, public schools and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for Palestine refugees in the Near East.

Competition for places at University within Jordan and abroad is incredibly high, with intense pressure on students to attain near-perfect standards to be accepted (98% and above is considered a realistic target).  Incidents of suicide have been reported of students failing to reach the highest levels.

At ground level, the foundations for a solid education system were witnessed, as learning is considered to be significant and a right to be cherished by all Jordanians. Teachers have value in society, even though their pay dramatically fails to reflect this, and each institution we visited harboured a welcoming and open attitude that captured our attention throughout the visit.


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