USAID’s Jordan Technical Assistance Program officially launches
Despite COVID-19’s closures, USAID’s Jordan Technical Assistance Program and the government ministries advanced their agendas during the past 12 months
By: Yasmeen Aljarrah
Amman, Jordan – The Jordan Technical Assistance Program, a five-year education project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, officially kicked off with a launch ceremony that had been delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jordan Technical Assistance Program will transform the organizational culture and increase the institutional capacity within the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth to ensure that government partners have the necessary skills and resources to effect change in the education and youth sectors.
“The USAID Technical Assistance Program represents a key area of collaboration that enables the Government of Jordan to effectively lead and manage education and youth reforms,” USAID Mission Director Sherry F. Carlin said in a statement.
Known locally as TAP and implemented by Creative Associates International, the program will complement the direct financing that USAID provides the Government of Jordan to strengthen the government’s ability to deliver quality education and youth activities. TAP will work with the Ministry of Education to improve teaching practices, school leadership and management, and will build the capacity of ministry staff in technical areas such as Arabic literacy and numeracy, science and English, and in operational areas, including procurement, human resources, and information management.
USAID Deputy Mission Director Margaret Enis Spears attended the May 31 launch event with Jordan’s Minister of Youth, H.E Mohammad-Salameh Nabulsi, and the Ministry of Education’s Secretary General for Educational Affairs, Nawaf Alajarmeh. Creative’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Leland Kruvant, and the Director of Programs for Creative’s Education for Development Division, Susan Hirsch-Ayari, attended the kickoff.
With JTAP’s support, the Ministry of Youth recently established a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit that will enhance decision-making systems based on evidence and improve the evaluation process of the ministry’s field programs across 200 youth centers. The unit facilitates data exchange and communication internally and across field directorates and centers. The unit will also integrate key activities from the National Youth Strategy 2019-2025 to ensure proper and impactful implementation.
“There’s a great partnership between the Ministry of Youth, the Ministry of Education and USAID,” Nabulsi, Jordan’s minister of youth, said at the event, extending his thanks to USAID for its ongoing support to the Government of Jordan.
Jordan TAP began its programming in mid-2021 but because of restrictions around the COVID pandemic postponed its official launch. Despite the delay, Creative’s Kruvant said the ceremony demonstrated the significance of the project’s goals.
“It’s a very significant education program and it’s an important moment in the U.S. government’s relationship with Jordan,” Kruvant said at the event. “We recognize the importance of our role in supporting the Jordanian government as it continues to update its educational system.”
OVERCOMING TIME LOST TO COVID-19 ABSENCES
Jordan TAP supported a diagnostic study of Arabic literacy and mathematics to assess learning loss related to COVID-19 absences for students in Grades 4 through 6 in early 2022. The study’s findings will be instrumental as the Ministry of Education attempts to make up for lost classroom time.
Alajarmeh, the secretary general of the Ministry of Education, said that education might have been the sector most affected by the pandemic. TAP will enable the ministry to fill the educational gaps that occurred during online learning, he said.
“The education sector and the youth sector complete each other,” Alajarmeh said during his remarks at the launch event.
Creative’s Hirsch-Ayari remarked that in the year since JTAP’s programming started, much has been achieved, from the number of teachers trained to the number of teaching and learning materials that have been distributed.
“The fact that we’ve been able to establish strong relations with both ministries where we need to work is a credit to TAP, particularly in that we’re already reaching impressive numbers,” she said, pointing to the almost 20,000 teachers reached within the first year of the project’s operations. “We’re supporting the ministry with the tools it needs to reach those teachers. I think it’s a huge achievement in the first year.”
Watch the Jordan Technical Assistance Program overview video below:
The USAID Jordan Technical Assistance Program is a five-year initiative that supports the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth in technical areas such as Arabic literacy and numeracy, science and English.