Education in Jordan

In the 2018/2019 school year, in Jordan, UNRWA provided basic education to over 121,000 students at 169 schools from grades 1-10, with almost 88 per cent of the schools continuing to operate on a double-shift basis. Unsuitable rented and residential buildings are slowly being replaced, decreasing the number of schools from 174 in 2014 to 169 today. Many of these residential buildings are without elevators or ramps and are, therefore, do not promote inclusivity and do not provide for the needs of people with disabilities in line with the Agency’s standards. Nevertheless, in parallel to working towards the gradual elimination of unsuitable rented schools, UNRWA is also working to improve the infrastructure of all schools to enhance inclusiveness.

UNRWA education in Jordan has been implementing the Education Reform Strategy, which is designed to meet the needs of the 21st century and help students become innovative, critical and creative thinkers. A Teacher Policy was developed which recognised the central role of teachers in quality education and seeks to strengthen teachers’ professional development and their career progression. In Jordan field, the School Based Teacher Development (SBTD I and II) programmes reached approximately 3,902 UNRWA teachers by December 2018. The Leading for the Future (LftF) programme reached approximately 308 school principals and deputy school principals by December 2018.

Alongside professional development, the Teacher Policy addresses the professional teacher support system through establishing three strategic units: the assessment unit, the professional development and curriculum unit, and the school quality assurance unit towards the strengthening of evidence-based strategic and operational guidance to the schools.

The Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance (HRCRT) programme has been key in all UNRWA schools since 1999. As in other fields, in Jordan, HRCRT concepts were initially taught through the use of supplementary enrichment materials but, in 2012, UNRWA launched its HRCRT Policy and, in 2013, an HRCRT Toolkit was developed to help teachers create and sustain a culture of human rights in their classrooms and schools in line with the HRCRT Policy. As part of the HRCRT programme, school parliaments of elected students represent all students and support their local communities, as appropriate. In 2016, the first field-level student parliament was elected in UNRWA Jordan and in the following year, student parliamentarians from Jordan field participated in the Jordan Model Parliament Conference, organized and hosted by the King’s Academy. In addition, student parliamentarians from Jordan represented UNRWA students in the United Nations General Assembly and the League of Arab States in 2017 and 2018.

Psychosocial support, together with school health interventions, help to complement the UNRWA education programme. Here, with the support of partners and NGOs, including UNICEF, the British Council, and Right to Play, a number of opportunities to help students  from the Jordan field at all grade levels to learn and grow are provided. UNRWA education in Jordan has also worked further on students’ inclusion: textbooks have been adapted to be used in the UNRWA schools and the Unified Tests modified for students with visual impairment and/or disabilities.

UNRWA offers technical and vocational training at the Amman Training Centre (ATC) and the Wadi Seer Training Centre (WSTC). During the 2018/2019 school year, approximately 2,800 students were enrolled at both centres. Both vocational training centres (VTC) target the most vulnerable Palestine refugee students and offer training courses at different levels to match with the regional and local labour market needs. The quality of the UNRWA Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme is reflected in the results of its students in the National Comprehensive Examination in Jordan. In 2018, UNRWA TVET graduates performed better than graduates of local institutions, with a success rate of 92.3 per cent for ATC graduates, and 77 per cent for WSTC graduates, compared to a national success rate of 61.2 per cent.

UNRWA is also providing university-level teacher education in the teaching of Arabic, English, Geography and in being a ‘class teacher’ to approximately 1,400 students through the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts (FESA). UNRWA FESA graduates are known for their professional skills and competencies that are looked for by recruiters.

UNRWA is proud of its reform and the success achieved to date with regards to the provision of quality education to Palestine refugees in Jordan.