What’s Keeping Us? We’re All Out of Time

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Mon 29 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah’s statements on education development in Jordan are outstandingly important, particularly the part in which she says we have run all out of time to put off reforming the imbalances of the education process any further. Her Majesty said, quote, on Saturday: “there is no time to waste … every year lost without carrying out essential reforms means depriving a large group of students of good quality education. We need to move quickly.”

It is crucial all the whole official body of respective and concerned capacity pay attention to Her Majesty’s warnings, to as much as possible avoid the catastrophic effects of the deep deformations our Education Sector endures, so as to save many a generation of the clutches of its deterioration, and the subsequent deterioration in knowledge among students, and the humongous lack of critical tools and research in their education, which has kept our students behind many other countries with advanced and competitive education systems that meet the real needs of graduates.

Haste in this discourse is paramount; to address deformations we particularly know down to the detail, because any further procrastination will result in further youths lost. For 12 years into the system, they graduate still unable to attain the knowledge and tools they need to compete, and engage in a prosperous future.

We can no longer crawl down a race track, linger at the back, as the world speeds ahead with breakthroughs and advancements in global education; in terms of content and tools, which only means that Jordan is losing its capacity to invest in the demographic opportunity we have; if we focused on current undergrads and students. And the result of this is further shortcomings on attaining target development.

The Queen assigned the chief pillars to the necessary change, not just the aspired; starting with curriculum, and the teachers, who by the way receive much attention by Her Majesty and related foundations, all in a deepened understanding of the strategic part this plays in addressing deformations in the system and rectifying the process.

More so, this is not the first time, nor will it be the last, Her Majesty sheds light on education and what should be done by all involved parties, chief of which are the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Association, to enhance the system’s performance, given they have the needed knowledge of the catastrophic aspects of the current deteriorated process. Everybody is responsible, and everybody is part of the reform needed to rise with education, and recap on the regression that has happened from several reasons, prime of which is the hesitation to admit to their being something wrong, which is only the first step in the journey forward with modern resolution, instead of the typical obsolete discourse.  

Her Majesty’s recent speech, the day before last, addressing a group of leading educationalists, was part of a forum organised by the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) with a group of teachers and members of the National Committee for Human Resources Development (HRD), and discussed all the challenges that hinder the progress of education, as well as early child development, being a basis for all coming phases. The forum also discussed vocational education.

Moreover, curriculums were discussed, as a primary aspect of reforming education, over which much debate and arguments took place in order to cleanse them from deformations and weaknesses. These require a long, weary battle, because all the changes made so far, with respect and without belittling their importance, do not suffice to shape up qualified students with a critical mindset, far from traditional indoctrination.

We’re extremely late, and there is no time for further delay. More so, there is no time to engage on marginal side issues when the basic target is rescuing our education system; reviving it so that it may produce a generation skilled with the tools and knowledge needed. The costs of procrastination, as everybody knows now, are outrageous; and they’re paid by the youth whose interests lie in the very core of our ethical duty, all of us, even with the teacher on the frontier, it is still our duty. And just like Queen Rania said, “although change cannot be achieved overnight, patience is essential in every field except in education, due to fast pace advancements in education around the world with which Jordan must keep up”, else it will be on the expense of Jordan’s generations to come.

For years, with many who concur on there being many flaws in our system, still, no outspoken, open confrontation of this issue took place. On contraire, the current that has been resisting reform made up a whole lot of unrealistic stories about those calling for it, in total disregard of the rightfulness of the demands for a comprehensive education system that enables our youths to be productive.

We all must side with reformation; institutions, the civil society, media, all of us, must side with reforming education. And it also falls upon the parents of students to pillar the call for reform, it being in the best interests of their children. The system we have now surely does grant their children certification, but not beneficial education. So what’s keep us?