Jordan launches five-year education strategy

By Mohammed Ghazal in Amman

Jordan's Ministry of Education and UNESCO on March 13th launched the Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022. [Photo courtesy of UNESCO Amman]

Jordan's Ministry of Education and UNESCO on March 13th launched the Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022. [Photo courtesy of UNESCO Amman]

Jordan's Ministry of Education and UNESCO recently launched a five-year strategic plan to develop the kingdom's education system as part of a wider strategy to achieve sustainable development by enhancing human resources.

The Education Strategic Plan (2018-2022), launched March 13th, is anchored in the National Strategy for Human Resource Development (2016-2025).

The plan follows a participatory and inclusive approach, in line with the best international practices, according to Education Minister Omar al-Razzaz.

"People working in the Ministry of Education's directorates know better than anyone else what challenges need to be addressed and the solutions to expand quality education opportunities," he said.

The ministry developed the plan with input from the education directorates, social development directorates and partners, and with technical support from UNESCO and its International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO).

An ambitious plan

The ministry adopted ambitious development strategies despite the limited budget to implement high priority programmes, al-Razzaz said.

Al-Razzaz welcomed the support received from national and international partners to help implement the strategy, noting that "the education sector is the basis for building a bright future for ambitious young generations".

The strategic plan includes six areas of focus; early education and childhood development, access and equality, system support, quality control, human resources and vocational education.

"The plan is ambitious and comprehensive, and its implementation should be expedited on all fronts," Jordan Teachers Union spokesman Ahmed al-Hajaya told Al-Mashareq.

"A strategy that governs the sector is crucial, given that the education sector is the largest in terms of the number of students and workers," he said.

It is necessary to develop teachers’ skills and train them on the most advanced teaching methods on a continuous basis, he said, as this will enable them to improve the students’ proficiency levels.

"We are pleased with this strategy and its focus on early education and teacher training," al-Hajaya said.

Zain Adel, a math teacher at a public school in Amman's Marka district, told Al-Mashareq teachers need training on an ongoing basis.

"I hope that there will be more technical support and training for teachers with this strategy, especially in light of the rapid advancements in teaching methods used in classrooms," she said.

Vocational education

The strategy’s focus on vocational education also is very important, economist Hossam Ayesh told Al-Mashareq.

"Unfortunately, there is reluctance among students to pursue vocational specialisations, as the vast majority of them prefer academic disciplines," he said.

Vocational education is important as there are many job opportunities for those with technical and other types of vocational specialisations, he added.

Some students are reluctant to pursue these specialisations due to "the prevailing societal culture, which has a distorted view of this sector", he said, adding that this must be overcome through increased awareness-raising.

"There is ambiguity about the concept of vocational and technical education, which makes many students reluctant to pursue this type of education," he said.

"The strategy should focus on improving the quality of vocational education in general in all schools to attract more students," Ayesh said.

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Al-Razzaz is a good person. All due respect to him. He really deserves the post of a minister.