As part of Queen Rania’s lifelong commitments to the improvement of education and standards of living for the people of Jordan, Her Majesty has recently met with a number of high-profile academics and education experts to discuss efforts towards reforming and improving Jordanian educational standards.
A couple of decades ago Jordan was hailed in the region for its high standards of education, making the Kingdom the envy of its peers elsewhere in the realms of academics. However, in recent years their lofty position has started to decline, with the big question being raised by Queen Rania,”Why?”
Her Majesty suggested that there are most likely a number of factors behind the slump in standards, which can all be summed up with the sentiment that Jordan is just in a different place from ten years ago. The population of Jordan is much bigger than it was, the infrastructure is placed under pressure from refugees fleeing nearby conflict zones, and while Jordan is relatively unscathed by the regional conflict of the past decade, it has not been completely unaffected.
In order to keep up with the constant changes, Queen Rania has thus put forward the suggestion that academic revision for Jordan should be conducted annually, rather than ad-hoc.
“What used to work ten years ago doesn’t work now,” Her Majesty is reported to have said to the assembly. “The skills that enable people to succeed today are not the same set of skills that enabled them to succeed ten or fifteen years ago. That’s why keeping pace with change is imperative.”
In addition to the points raised, the Queen of Jordan underlined the importance of the National Strategy for Human Resource Development launched last September. The Strategy suggested a ten-year plan focusing on teacher training, child development and greater integration of technology in the classroom as ways in which Jordanian education could be improved. There is also a dire need for the improvement of teacher training early on in their careers.
Another issue was the improvement of national “Tawjihi” tests, which currently focus more on students’ abilities of memorisation and repetition of learned facts rather than their analytical and critical thinking skills, a common complaint of standardised tests elsewhere in global education, even if analytical subjects such as mathematics.
Queen Rania remains hopeful that Jordan will rise to the challenge, reminding those present that Jordanians have always been talented at getting the most out of what resources they have, allowing them to outperform even those nations with far more available to work with.