Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah met today with Minister of Education, Mohamamd Thneibat, along with other staff members of the Ministry and listened to a brief on a number of education issues in the Kingdom.
Among these issues were the 2014 Tawjihi results, teacher training strategies, and the most recent pre-qualification tests taken by new teachers before starting their professions in teaching.
Also tackled at the meeting were the integration of technology into classrooms, education level indicators in the kingdom, and how to develop school curricula. Queen Rania said that 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 which will be held later this year.
Her Majesty said education in Jordan is going through a crucial phase where a number of challenges, on all levels, lie ahead. These include limited resources that prevent us from meeting the needs of the growing numbers of students and old teaching methods which leave us lagging behind, unable to keep up with today’s fast paced technologies and competitive market.
Discussing the Tawjihi results, Her Majesty praised the ministry for the measures it maintained while holding the exams, and expressed how this year’s lower exam-passing rates when compared to previous years were extremely disappointing. 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.
Discussing teachers’ pre-qualification tests held by the ministry for new teachers, Her Majesty emphasized the need to hire teachers based on their qualifications as well as provide them with quality training before they enter the classrooms. The Queen emphasized the need to confront these challenges with utmost transparency, informing the public of all the details and reasons behind these challenges as well as the plans set out to overcome them. With regards to integrating technology in the classroom, Her Majesty noted that "amongst the challenges that face us is the need to bring in new computers as well as develop schools’ infrastructure". Queen Rania said that "investing in new technologies will save us a lot of money by reducing our investments in old infrastructure". Queen Rania said 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 achievethe best results.
Thneibat briefed the Queen on the biggest challenges that face education in Jordan, and the steps the ministry has 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 interventions, building the capacity of teachers, and using more technologies in classrooms.
The minister also said that a number of new teacher training programs have been designed in collaboration with Queen Rania Teacher Academy and the Canadian government. He added that the ministry plans on linking incentives with teacher’s performance, and that they are drafting a law so that hiring teachers is no longer done through the Civil Service Bureau.