The Vast Difference…

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 23 November / Nov 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Over the past few weeks, we have had the chance to meet with school students; some private, other public.

The students we met were coherently sampled, in terms of level of education and age; they were all in high school. But as the private school students came across somewhat equally equipped, the vast difference between them and their public school peers became much clearer.

Our meetings with them had several goals; once to discuss my own experience as Editor-in-Chief, and in journalism in general, and another time to discuss media freedoms and the role of journalism and the media, in addition addressing challenges Jordan is facing, in particular; the youth.

It is troubling, honestly; the extent of contradiction in one’s feelings dealing with these students; one moment you’re proud of an informed young generation, and right there, you’re brought down by the fact of there being a whole different generation that is representative of the vaster majority of our society, whose youths could not, over more than a decade of schooling, obtain the skills of the rhetoric, debate, or even the horizon and knowledge to have hope!

One of the public schools, whose students I refer to, is in Amman; in west Amman, to be more specific. And if that is how our children are schooled there, we can easily imagine how they are schooled in other institutions in the outskirts of Amman and in other governorates. Undoubtedly, they are worse off there!

For the sake of this argument, let us turn the tables around; let us place private school students in public schools, and vice versa. Certainly, and evidently; there is bound to be a pivoting change in the performance of many of them, and their way of thinking, on both sides.

The difference between those two segments of school students, should make us ponder at a crucial ethical question: how could we have not given all that we have, by our conscience, to elevate the level of our education across Jordan?! How is this massive resistance to enhancing our curriculum and mechanisms justified?

The difference is vaster than imaginable; in schools with high premiums, our children there get a chance at the world, armed with all the knowledge they need to charge into their futures. Meanwhile, the less fortunate youth still wait on a heater to warm their bodies up in class!

This is beyond scandalous; this is a crime. What is happening in government schools, as well as in violating private schools is massively wrong. And the victims, in mass, whom are being driven to the alters of chance are our upcoming generation, who is supposed to be responsible to protect us and their own society two decades from now, at most, if we live to see it!

We have come to the day when education has become a costly burden on families and households. For families to provide their children a decent education in Jordan, they have to put out a massive amount of money, or else, the student’s fate will be to graduate clueless, at best; or in bleaker cases, charged with wrath and frustration instead of objective critical thinking skills and debating abilities.

Flaws in our education system are countless; which explains the saddening results which reflect an outstanding apathy to Jordan’s present and future, in a near-criminal and deliberate abandonment of responsibility!