Dr Omar Razzaz’s systematic approach and mindset, his conceptual skills, and diagnostic abilities, truly are as unique as they indispensable to the Minister of Education’s tasks at hand.
They come in handy when it comes to formulating the necessary strategic outlook for development.
Notably, the Minister’s analytical and strategic skills do not come as a surprise to anyone in tune with the media over the last few years.
As an economic analyst and commentator, it was obvious that Dr Razzaz had the needed strategic planning skills to kick-start a revolution in education.
To avoid getting tangled up in details, or the problems and concepts of education itself, let’s move to the main point of this article.
Among his many invaluable attributes, his diagnostic, analytical, and problem solving skills are the most instrumental when it comes to advancing reforms, not just in education.
In other spheres of development, strategic analysis helps identify and diagnose problems. It helps us conceptualise critical, solid understandings of our reality.
Based on this solid, objective, scientific understanding, a strategist can construct sustainable, long-term strategies to address issues in the cultural, social, political, and economic spheres.
Hence the title of Dr Razzaz’s lecture, the day before last; Education: Our Failures, Successes, and Outlook.
This is how strategies are formulated; from facts, through analyses and processing, to conclusions, and then comes proposition.
Why do we need such skills?
Well, because as we have said many times before, Jordan is undergoing several economic and political shifts.
Chief among these shifts is Jordan’s economic transformation.
Many of its aspects have resulted in fundamental transmutations in the political, cultural, and societal dynamics.
That is besides the geo-political situation we all know very well.
Needless to say, the regional situation has reflected negatively on the domestic Jordanian situation.
Such a challenging environment, both on the macro and micro levels, requires more than just executives in office, as ministers.
The interrelated regional and domestic conditions demand the rise of vision and strategy; concrete, scientific projects, to care us into prosperity.
The day-by-day approach to public policies and governance is not enough to overcome such grave changes.
Similarly, this applies to education, notwithstanding the labour ministry or the labour market.
The same goes for higher education, planning, tourism, and awqaf ministries.
More importantly, the political departments of the state need to construct a more effective, analytical, farsighted approach to addressing the current state of affairs.
These include the ministries of public sector development and municipalities, especially now as we move towards decentralisation.
Jordan is in dire need of a real national reformist government, with strategic approach to advance comprehensive, holistic reforms, instead of partial fixes.
Naturally, this requires vision, collaboration, and integration.
More so, it required communication and transparency.
The government must address the public opinion with the same openness Dr Razzaz did in his lecture; where’d we go wrong, what advantages do we have, and what do we want, on both the short and long term.
We do not need more frustrated officials and ministers, or disbelievers in reforms.
This country needs officials with the vision, the will, and the vigour to constitute real changes and reforms; leaders with dreams, and the mentality and quality to attain them.
This is what it takes to succeed in a white revolution, which will carry the people and their culture to the stars.
In fact, this is the state’s only option to restoring its relationship with the citizenry.
To do so, the government needs to find its courage to engage the public with honesty.
Dr Omar Razzaz is now in charge of a very critical operation; education.
He knows well that it will not be solved overnight. There will be no shortcut to success in this sphere. It is going to be a long, weary journey; even complicated at times.
However, he knows exactly what he’s up against, exactly what should be attained, and he shares his views with the people.
Razzaz also believes that reformation and change is indeed possible.
This is the kind of people we need in office; reformists with concrete visions.
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.