Jordan Technical Assistance Program
Jordan’s growing population of school-aged children, the COVID-19 pandemic and an influx of refugees from Syria and elsewhere are putting considerable strains on the country’s weak public education system. The Royal Family and the government have committed to undertaking major initiatives, including a push to achieve universal kindergarten, a new multi-sectoral National Youth Strategy 2019-2024, a target for building 600 schools in the next 10 years and a shift from humanitarian to development assistance for Syrian refugees, among other things.
Despite the government’s best intentions to meet these burgeoning needs, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth continue to confront a myriad of internal challenges, particularly systemic barriers, resource limitations, poor coordination among agencies and the absence of reliable metrics.
The impact of these internal challenges is evident across the youth and education sectors, where reforms are lacking to help children and youth reach their full potential. Poor learning outcomes and low levels of youth engagement persist across the country, notably in the southern regions. Students in Jordan score poorly on national and international assessments, with particularly low levels of literacy in the early grades. Large numbers of children and youth are out of school, including a significant proportion of children with disabilities. Youth feel undervalued and unable to engage productively in their own futures.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s five-year Jordan Technical Assistance Program (TAP) seeks to transform the organizational culture and improve the systems (e.g. human resources, budgeting, planning, policies, and monitoring and evaluation) and abilities within the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth to ensure officials can implement much-needed reforms. It is led by Creative and implemented with two Jordanian-based organizations, EdviseMe and ConsultUS, and the Training Resources Group of Arlington, Virginia.
Working hand-in-hand with both Ministries, as well as related stakeholders, TAP aims to strengthen the institutional and administrative expertise, accountability and framework for improved service delivery to Jordan’s children and youth. TAP provides technical expertise for the Ministry of Education to improve learning outcomes in foundational skills (e.g., Arabic, English, math and science from kindergarten to Grade 11) through a blended approach to teacher professional development focused on the delivery of remedial education activities.
The program also works with the Ministry of Youth to promote positive youth development by strengthening Jordan’s youth centers’ activities, supporting effective youth strategy implementation and strengthening youth center performance through improved monitoring systems.