Her Majesty Queen Rania on Sunday met with Education Minister Mohammad Thneibat, along with other staff members of the ministry, and was briefed on a number of issues pertaining to education in Jordan.
Amongst these issues were the results of the General Secondary Certificate Examination (Tawjihi) summer session, teacher training strategies, and the most recent pre-qualification tests taken by new teachers before starting their profession, according to a statement released by Her Majesty’s office.
Discussions at the meeting also covered other issues, including the integration of technology into classrooms, education level indicators in the Kingdom, and how to develop school curricula.
During the meeting, Queen Rania said education is at the top of His Majesty King Abdullah’s priorities, adding that His Majesty has ordered the government to set out an educational reform plan that includes all stakeholders.
The Queen noted that this plan will be announced during a national forum that will be held by the end of this year.
Her Majesty emphasised that education in Jordan is going through a crucial phase where a number of challenges, on all levels, lie ahead.
These challenges include limited resources that prevent Jordan from meeting the needs of the growing number of students, and old teaching methods that leave Jordanians lagging behind, unable to keep up with today’s fast-paced technologies and competitive market, the statement said.
Discussing the Tawjihi results, Her Majesty praised the ministry for the measures it implemented while holding the exams, and expressed how this year’s passing rates, which were lower compared to previous years, were extremely disappointing.
Commenting further on this issue, the Queen stressed the importance of honesty and transparency as the first steps to facing this challenge and that acknowledging that there is a problem is the only way to go about solving it.
Forty per cent of students who sat for the Tawjihi summer session passed, compared with a pass ratio of 56.3 per cent last year, according to Education Ministry figures.
Of the 57,141 students who sat for the exam, 22,974 students passed.
Discussing the pre-qualification tests held by the ministry for new teachers, Her Majesty emphasised the need to hire educators based on their qualifications as well as to provide them with quality training before they enter the classroom.
The Queen stressed the need to confront these challenges with utmost transparency, informing the public of allthe details and reasons behind these challenges as well as the plans set out to overcome them, the statement said.
With regards to integrating technology in the classroom, Queen Rania noted that amongst the challenges facing the country is the need to bring in new computers as well as develop school infrastructure, adding that investing in new technologies will save a lot of money by reducing investments in old infrastructure.
Her Majesty told attendees that she has launched a number of educational initiatives to support the work of the ministry and that she always stresses the need for collaboration and coordination between them and the ministry to achieve the best results.
During Sunday’s meeting, Thneibat briefed the Queen on the biggest challenges facing education in Jordan, and the steps the ministry started implementing early this year to overcome them.
He noted that the ministry has taken a few urgent measures to address some of these pressing challenges such as curricula intervention, building the capacity of teachers and using more technologies in classrooms.
The minister also said that a number of new teacher training programmes have been designed in collaboration with the Queen Rania Teacher Academy and the Canadian government.
Thneibat added that the ministry plans to link incentives with teachers’ performance, and is drafting a law so that the hiring of teachers is no longer done through the Civil Service Bureau.