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Bell rings out for education reform

Feb 04,2018 - Last updated at Feb 04,2018

A thought-provoking and timely debate on the quality of education and learning trends in Jordan took place recently during the Jordan Agenda Conference 2018 held at the Dead Sea. 

The discussion on where the country is headed in education took place at the special session titled “Human Resources, Education: What Do We Want”, organised by the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan. 

It is worth noting that the country has been wrestling with the same educational issues and challenges for some time now amidst a growing consensus that the national education policy needs revamping from head to toe.  To make schools more attractive, student-friendly reforms must promote critical thinking instead of rote learning and increase extracurricular activities. 

Accomplishing these objectives is easier said than done. The country and its educational system, especially government institutions, have indeed a long way to go before they can make schools more attractive for students. 

As Minister of Education Omar Razzaz conceded: “We have to realise that much of the learning today takes place outside the schools.” Sure enough since by the time students enter elementary and secondary schools, they are already instilled with certain cultural mores and values acquired in their daily life including by their exposure to news and cultural events and social media. 

Mass media in particular is shaping students’ minds and cultural values very early in life. By the time they start  their formal education, their mindsets are already set in stone. Pre-schooling therefore is critical as an instrument to channel students’ minds and values in the right direction. 

 

Kindergarten education is so essential that developed countries make it accessible and affordable. It is the culture of the country as a whole  that education at various levels must seek to change for the better. This is the biggest challenge facing Jordan and maximum investment in this endeavour would
be worth it.

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