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, among others.
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 seeks to transform the organizational culture and improve the systems (e.g. human resources, finance, etc.) and abilities within the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth to ensure officials can implement much-needed reforms. It will be led by Creative and implemented with two Jordanian-based organizations, EdviseMe and ConsultUS, and the Training Resources Group of Arlington, Virginia.
Working closely with both Ministries, as well as related stakeholders, Jordan Technical Assistance Program seeks to strengthen the expertise, accountability and framework to improve learning outcomes in foundational skills (e.g., Arabic, English, math and science from kindergarten to Grade 10) through in-class or distance learning. The program will also work to promote positive youth development (such as career counseling; anti-violence, cocurricular and extracurricular activities; and community engagement in schools and youth centers), ensure inclusion of vulnerable children and youth, including people with disabilities, increase the availability and quality of non-formal education programs and improve the quality of teaching, leadership and management, among other activities.