King urges swift action to remedy educational process shortcomings

August 6, 2015
His Majesty King Abdullah chairs a meeting, attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, to discuss the educational process in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday chaired a meeting at Al Husseiniya Palace to discuss means to advance the educational process and improve its outputs, according to a Royal Court statement.

During the meeting, attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the King was briefed by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Mohammad Thneibat on the current situation of the process.

Thneibat highlighted his ministry's plans to enhance the educational process, especially with regards to the General Secondary Education Examination (Tawjihi), the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

His Majesty stressed the importance of exerting utmost efforts to address all elements of the educational process, including curricula, students and educators, adding that such endeavours should reflect positively on the outcome of the entire process and should eventually qualify students to meet the needs of the job market.

King Abdullah issued directives to merge public schools where the number of students is below a set limit, with the aim of enhancing the quality of education and upgrading the performance of educators.

His Majesty issued directives to intensify coordination between public and military schools affiliated with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army regarding the merger process in the remote areas served by military-run schools and ensure students necessary services such as transportation.

The King also underlined the importance of encouraging students to enrol in vocational education, calling for upgrading the skills of teachers in this stream in cooperation and partnership with national institutions.

His Majesty urged constant updating of vocational training curricula to ensure high quality output, seeking international know-how to stimulate critical thinking among students and using modern technology in this field.

His Majesty called for expanding the scope of vocational education, especially the industrial and agricultural streams, and benefiting from the vocational and technical capabilities of the Vocational Training Corporation and universities. The ultimate goal, he said, is to formulate a comprehensive vision of vocational education that serves the community and contributes to bringing up a competent generation with advanced capabilities.

During the meeting, Thneibat outlined the results of the Educational Development Conference 2015 that aims to boost public trust in the education sector.

The minister said the conference analysed the situation of education in Jordan, the challenges and problems it faces, as well as the available tools that the Education Ministry can harness to address these obstacles.

In this regard, King Abdullah urged stakeholders to expedite the implementation of the conference’s recommendations without any delay.

In remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Thneibat said the meeting was scheduled to discuss the outcome of the Educational Development Conference 2015, the results of Tawjihi, and the fact that no student passed the Tawjihi exam in scores of schools.

He said that public schools in remote areas suffered for several years from having too few students, adding that 206 schools have only one to 10 students, which “makes no sense as no sound education system can deliver proper education in classes with two to three students”.

To address such a problem, he said, it is important to merge these schools and offer transportation to students, “which will happen soon”.

At the recommendations of the Educational Development Conference 2015, Thneibat said the ministry focused on training teachers, updating curricula and enhancing supervision of the education process by conducting field visits to schools.

Moreover, he pointed out that the Education Ministry formed an accountability unit to assure the quality of education and hold those who fail to do their jobs responsible. The unit will start operating during the next academic year, he told Petra.

On the implementation of the conference’s outcomes, Thneibat said for the first time, a committee was formed to follow up on the implementation, and the ministry will take responsibility for any failure in this process.

He said the committee comprises the heads of the education committees at the Lower House and the Senate, the higher education minister and a number of Education Council members.

Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, King’s Military Adviser and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Gen. Mashal Al Zaben and King’s Office Director Jafar Hassan, attended the meeting.

Jordan Times
August 6, 2015