On Wednesday, 16 November Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan participated in a panel discussion on education development in Amman. The aim of the session was to help raise public awareness of the importance of education reform in Jordan through a collaborative, wide-ranging plan that is inclusive of all stakeholders.
Moderated by Mr Hussam Awwad – founder of awa2el.net – the session was attended by education experts, students, parents and teachers who saw Queen Rania call for education reform to be guided by a long-term social movement.
In a speech at the session The Queen said that ‘we need a social movement for education, aided by activists and experts who are willing to make the discussion about education a long-term priority, not just something that only causes an uproar every once in a while’. She also made it clear that there’s a widespread understanding that for the nation to progress education is imperative because, as she said, ‘we always say that the human being is our most valued possession.’
Queen Rania shared her thoughts on the curriculum amendments and the ongoing debate around them, explaining that there needs to be a core team of people dedicated to participating in the consultative process because ‘the issue of the school curricula cannot be reduced to only one topic’. Her comments also made it clear that strong personalities shaped by a committed national process with academic and non-academic components are the outcome of good education and that ‘talent is the most valuable commodity in today’s world and what will help us advance.’
Referencing models in Finland and Singapore, Queen Rania demonstrated how effective teaching techniques can be developed even when the resources are limited. She said, ‘Many countries that lack natural resources and share our challenges were able to excel because they directed their efforts towards building productive and talented human beings.’
Mr Awwad also spoke at the session, explaining that the student’s journey must be exciting and must lead to quality outcomes. If this does not happen then the answer is to reassess the nature of the curricula being offered in order to change student’s negative attitudes. He also stressed that teacher training is incredibly important and student assessment should be tied to knowledge and talents more widely instead of just focusing on grades.
Other speakers included Al Albayt University Professor of Education Dr Nart Qakhoun, Teacher Training Expert Ahmad Abdallah and Curriculum Development Expert at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Dr Rounahi Majdalawi.
At the close of the discussion Queen Rania thanked all present for the time they dedicated and reiterated that everyone involved was a partner in a vital course towards delivering Jordanian children an education proves they deserve.