Who caused the crisis in elites?

تم نشره في Wed 14 January / Jan 2015. 08:27 PM - آخر تعديل في Wed 14 January / Jan 2015. 08:27 PM

By Jumana Ghunaimat

The selection process for any position in Jordan is no longer trivial. Finding a prime minister, for example, has become a matter that causes headaches to the decision maker, as an arduous and annoying process.

It is also graded to reach the various institutions officials regardless of their levels; starting with minister, and higher grade officials. There are many models that emphasize dire conditions of the elites industry in Jordan, so much that we see the same officials entangled between different positions within the country; not because they are "unique", as they say, but for the lack of better alternatives.

If the prime minister today thinks of changing his economic team, he will face massive problems trying to find alternatives, and would be in "shambles" in his quest to choose the people filling these technically-dominant posts.

I wonder what if someone wanted to develop a list of Jordanians who meet the necessary requirements to fill the finance minister job; will the list be long or short? If we think of appointing a new energy minister, how many names will we have?

Most probably, the list in both cases, and after long thought, would not include more than three names! And here lies the danger; the highly qualified professionals who can fill a similar position are scarce. Hence, it is, no matter whom the author of the list is, we will find them spin, in the end, around the same names.

The reason for this dangerous dilemma is primarily the decline that befell the various sectors and the local scene.

Previously, among the official duties was supplementing their organization with talents, or build them if such talents are not available. Today, officials seek, mostly if not all, to empty the institutions of the competencies in which they see a future competitor to them!

Thus, institutions become similar today; you see officials, regardless of their position, confirming that the vast majority of workers in their ministry or institution are undergraduates. It hurts, obviously, the productivity and performance of the institution, and kills opportunities for the future of the industry for the most prestigious institutions and their staff.

Where did the problem begin? What are the factors that led to razing competencies?

Frankly, it is a general case. And the attempts by some institutions for the production of talents are still not sufficient to handle this big flaw. One important researcher says that the lack of researchers is becoming a general theme. He attributes this to infertility that hit the higher education sector, and public education before it.

The inflation of public sector institutions is worsening the problem to the point that goes beyond all international standards. Let alone that the public sector has a monopoly over more than 55% of Jordan’s GDP, while the monthly salary bill is estimated at 330 million dinars.

Under a flabby public sector, there does not seem a straightforward opportunity for improved performance, and restarting the machine and elites production industry. This means that Jordan will suffer a lot to regain its elites, the appointment of any officer, whether senior or junior, will remain elusive and confusing!

The selection criteria, along with nepotism, favoritism, and “post inheritance”, played a clear role in the elites’ industry crisis, and no one knows when all of it will go away.


This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition