- Education in Jordan
Jordan has given good attention to education in particular. It is ranked 18th in the world according to
UNESCO, and first in the Arab world. Despite strained resources, the Ministry of Education developed highly advanced national curriculum and many other nations in the region have developed their education system using Jordan as a model. The Jordanian Ministry of Education is now making it mandatory for students to be computer literate and able to apply their studies in computers to their regular studies, most especially the scientific and mathematical courses. Its educational system is of international standards and its secondary education program is accepted in world-class universities.
Literacy Rate: 91.3%
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Female": 86.3% (2003 est.)
Levels of Education
School Education contains two parts: Basic Education which lasts for ten years, and the Secondary Education which lasts for two years. Secondary education is free but not compulsory.
Basic Education is a 10-year compulsory level of education. Study books are standard books distributed by the Ministry of Education.
Schools in Jordan have two main categories, public and private. The private education sector accommodates more than 70% of the student population in the capital of Jordan, Amman. This sector is still heavily taxed, up to 25%++, although it takes a high burden off the government of the Kingdom, which makes school fees relatively high, starting at $1000, and going up to $7000. These values for private education fees are extremely high when compared to the average family income; that stated, it should be noted that Jordanians are one of the most passionate communities towards giving their children a decent education, which places a high burden on family budgeting.
Students in this education level are required to take 9 subjects; Arabic, English, History, Jordanian Studies(including Citizenship), Geography, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Islamic studies are also mandatory for all students however it is not required for Christian students. The Secondary Education level consists of two years' study for students aged 16 to 18 who have completed the basic cycle (10 years) and comprises two major tracks:
*1- Secondary education, which can either be academic or vocational. At the end of the two-year period, students sit for the general secondary examination (
Tawjihi) in the appropriate branch and those who pass are awarded the Tawjihi (General Secondary Education Certificate). The academic stream qualifies students for entrance to universities, whereas the vocational or technical type qualifies for entrance to Community Colleges or universities or the job market, provided they pass the two additional subjects.
*2- Vocational secondary education, which provides intensive vocational training and apprenticeship, and leads to the award of a Certificate (not the Tawjihi). This type of education is provided by the Vocational Training Corporation, under the control of the Ministry of Labour / Technical and Vocational Education and Training Higher Council.
Access to higher education is open to holders of the General Secondary Education Certificate who can then choose between private Community Colleges, public Community Colleges or universities (public and private). The credit-hour system, which entitles students to select courses according to a study plan, is implemented at universities.
At present, there are:
*8 public universities
**plus 2 newly- licensed ones
*13 private universities
**plus 4 newly- licensed ones
All post-secondary education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The Ministry includes the Higher Education Council and the Accreditation Council.
University level studies
UndergraduatelevelMost universities in Jordan follow the English-American education systems and are associated with many American and English universities. Bachelor's Degrees normally take four years. In Dentistry, Pharmacy and Engineering, studies last for five years. In Medicine, they last for six years, followed by an Internship which lasts for one year. The Bachelor's Degree requires a total of 126-164 credit hours, depending on the field of study.
PostgraduatelevelA Master's degreeis awarded after a further one to two years' study following a Bachelor's Degree. It can be obtained either by course work and a thesis (c. 24 credit hours of courses and nine credit hours of research), or by course work (c. 33 credit hours) and a comprehensive examination. There are other postgraudate degrees equivalent to the Master's degreein some Jordanian universities like the Magister in the German Jordanian University, the DEA's degree in the Universities which follow the French system and the MBAfor the students who have significant work experience.
DoctorateA Doctorate Degree is awarded after three to five years of further study and the submission of an original dissertation. It requires, depending on the subject, 24 credit hours of course work and 24 credit hours of research.
*Teacher education: Training of pre-primary and primary/basic
school teachersBasic schoolteachers must hold a Bachelor's Degree.Training of secondary school teachers:Secondary school teachers must hold a Bachelor's Degree and a one-year postgraduate Higher Diploma in Education.Training of higher education teachers:They must hold a Doctorate (PhD). In some cases a Master's Degree is sufficient.
*Non-traditional studies: Distance higher educationThis type of education is offered at the newly established branch of the Arab Open University.
Non-University level Studies
Non-university and vocational studies are offered in community colleges, access to which is open to holders of all types of general secondary education certificates. The two-to three-year programme encompasses many fields, such as Arts, Science, Management, Business Administration and Engineering. As of 1997, all public Community Colleges are under the supervision of Al-Balqa Applied University. At the end of the two- or three-year course, students sit for a comprehensive examination (Al-Shamel). Those who pass are awarded the Associate Degree / Diploma.
Lifelong higher education
Lifelong education is offered at public and private universities, public and private community colleges, the Jordan Institute of Public Administration, The Jordan Geographic Center and The
Royal Scientific Society, as well as in other institutions. Courses are offered in Engineering, Industry, Agriculture, Foreign Languages, Computer Sciences, Managerial Sciences, Secretarial Studies, Physical Education and subjects that can help the local community. Courses last between one week and six months at the end of which students obtain a Certificate of Attendance or Achievement. The qualifications needed depend on the subject and level of the course. Some are designed for specific occupations, in which case a work experience in the relevant field is needed to attend such courses, such as the books of Nadia Saqer.
History of education
2003 invasion of Iraq, Iraqi refugees flooded Jordan. This resulted in an increase of Iraqi students in Jordanian schools. In 2007 Jordan allowed all Iraqi refugees, regardless of immigration status, to attend free state-operated schools in Jordan. Khalid Touqan, the Minister of Educationat the time, stated that Iraqis will be integrated into the Jordanian school system [http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/10/11/iraqi.schoolchildren/index.html] .
Recently in 2003, HM King Abdullah II ordered the creation of a national agenda for education. The board responsible for this agenda comprised experts from both the public and private sectors of education.
The main aim of this board was the drafting of a document that outlined the main goals, tasks, and projects to be implemented during the upcoming 10 years. The document also related all the projects and tasks to budgetary needs. Unfortunately, the agenda was abandoned by the next two governments until HM assigned a new government during November 2007, and reassigned them the task of activating the national agenda. HM also ordered the creation of a higher council of advisors for the field of education with the main objective of drafting and advising on the needs of the sector.
Demographics of Jordan
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.