Where Do We Stand? What Next?

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 21 June / Jun 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

According to political tradition, literature, and protocol, the government’s response to His Majesty’s Letter of Designation should be comprehensive to all the aspects entailed. While assuming that is integral, we had hoped the response —the plan— would be unconventional, or at least carry some added value focal points revolved around imbalances and concerns with the government and the people. That it would provide a holistic view, with priorities that should lead real reforms, followed later by the details of the executive plan.

Yes; there are highlights, and yes; it is an executive plan, laying out a roadmap for ministries over the next phase, but much of it is just a lot of details. We want highlights, not in the context of replies or theoretical promises, but of serious consideration to induce a qualitative change of course, in order to overcome the variety of hindrances in primary policy.

The government, for example, pledged to safeguard the work of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC). They should have elaborate more; perhaps reassure us that there will be no official intervention in the works of the IEC or the results of the Elections, given the importance of these elections in terms of prefacing for the arrival of a strong active parliament that would restore balance to the works of Authorities. The success of this phase sends out a strong political message to reinforce the creation of a suitable political atmosphere.

In regards to the budget; there is the dilemma of indebtedness and deficit. Mindfully, the government avoided talking about electricity and water, for the meantime at least, until the elections, as instructed by the decision maker. Nonetheless, Jordanians need to be enlightened in regards to this issue, and the types of solutions on the table.

Now, the government did speak about lowering the public debt to GDP ratio from94 to 77 per cent, in accordance to the arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), granted; but we need to be informed of the major aspects of change and reformation in order to achieve these goals; how will the government approach the issues of income taxation and the conditions of the Fund, the issues of tax evasion, and the development of the Department in such a way that would enable them to pursue evaders. There should be a straightforward official message in this regard.

The same goes for the issues of employment and the domestic labour marker; what is the real executive plan to address the necessity to restructure the market and fix its major imbalances, integrate Jordanian labour, and develop the legal frameworks of employment and labour in such a way that would ensure such a successful transition?

In terms of education; with discretion, the government brought up technical issues, but left out concerns of a hidden curriculum that is intended to address the qualification of teachers, even though there are unpublished studies on the top stashed away in the decision maker’s drawers on the importance of the teacher’s curriculum in the educational process. More so, the plan did not discuss developing education curriculums to platform the transition to critical thinking and research.

Similarly, in regards to higher education, the government spoke about the gradual termination of the parallel programme, and on changes to admission policies, but did not discuss means by which the financial weight can be compensated, nor on quota admissions.

Therefore, should the government intend to stay in office for the next 4 years, and indeed they intend to, we demand a clearer reform programme that minds major imbalances, and second; provides the necessary turning points, convincingly, for the people to realise we are facing fundamental changes as well as a totally different government; that we are not going in circles with our issues culminating infinitely.

We need the government to tell us; where do we stand? What next?