Jordan’s education reform strategy focuses on the country’s most valuable resource, Jordanians, as a national priority. The country boasts a literacy rate of 93.3 percent and a secondary school completion rate of 77 percent, and has steadily increased access, especially for girls, expanding availability of kindergarten in public education. Still, the Jordanian government recognizes that quality is uneven and not competitive by international standards, particularly in poorer areas. Pressures of a growing, young population and the inclusion of refugee children in schools stresses facilities, many of which are poorly maintained. The government is working to reform the national curriculum and teaching methods, but many secondary and university graduates’ abilities do not yet match the requirements of the labor market or community.
The U.S. and Jordan partnered to conduct the first teacher and technical training in the 1950s and went on to build schools, create libraries and send thousands of Jordanians to study at American institutions. Recently, USAID has focused on improving the quality and relevance of public education, expanding access to schools, involving parents and communities, and providing youth with skills that lead to wider opportunities. USAID is the largest donor to the Ministry of Education’s ongoing program to reorient public education towards the work and citizenship skills young people will need in the future. Our newest programs emphasize improving early grade reading and math skills, addressing gaps and weaknesses in teacher and administrative capacity, and addressing drop-out rates, especially for males.
Our impacts in this sector include:
- Improved education for students across the country by providing thousands of educators with professional and leadership skills, promoting professional recognition, and preparing them to support a healthy, caring school environment.
- Construction of 28 new schools, rehabilitated 100 schools, renovated playgrounds to facilitate sports at schools, and provided training to hundreds of teachers. As a result, 4600 young students were given access to quality, early childhood education.
- Established 67 Community-Parent School Committees across Jordan to involve parents with their children’s schools. Enhanced the leadership and life skills of 59,000 youth who participated in school-to-career programs.
Last updated: May 10, 2013