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Jordan Stepping-up Human Resource Development with a Comprehensive Education Program

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  • Education indicators of Jordan have improved consistently since the mid-nineties. The illiteracy rate is 8.9 percent, the third lowest illiteracy rate in the Arab world.
  • The first phase (ERfKE I) ran from 2003-2009, and now with significant education outputs, will close in June 2009 after five and half years of implementation.
  • The World Bank’s commitment to ERfKE II is $60 million loan over the five years of the program. The first component of the program is the establishment of a national school based development system to deliver education focused on creativity, skills and attitudes associated with knowledge economy.

March 2009 - The Education Reform for the Knowledge Economy Program (ERfKE) is a comprehensive, 10 year multi-donor sector program designed to deliver on the 2002 Vision Forum for the Future of Education in Jordan. ERfKE II is the second phase in the government’s reform program for education within this overall vision. The first phase (ERfKE I) ran from 2003-2009, and now with significant education outputs, will close in June 2009 after five and half years of implementation.

Education indicators of Jordan have improved consistently since the mid-nineties. The illiteracy rate is 8.9 percent, the third lowest illiteracy rate in the Arab world. The gross enrolment ratios at the primary and secondary level have increased to 98 and 97 percent respectively in 2006. Jordan has a high level of gender parity in access to basic services.

To further align the basic education system in Jordan to the needs of knowledge economy, ERfKE II will be implemented for the period 2006-2010. The development objective of ERfKE II is: “Students enrolled in all streams of pre-tertiary education in Jordan will have increased levels of skills necessary for participation in the knowledge economy.” This objective builds upon ERfKE I aim of bringing about changes in the system and adds a particular focus on school level implementation and teacher professional development and expands to cover vocational and special education.

The World Bank’s commitment to ERfKE II is $60 million loan over the five years of the program. The first component of the program is the establishment of a national school based development system to deliver education focused on creativity, skills and attitudes associated with knowledge economy. A monitoring and evaluation system will be in place to evaluate the effectiveness of school activities. Investment will be made in the professional development of teachers for better alignment with knowledge economy focused curriculum. A competency-based approach will be introduced to improve appointment and utilization of teachers. Early childhood education coverage will be expanded and will include increased volunteer activities and community and parental involvement. Vocational education programs and resources have been rationalized and improved to be consistent with demand-driven service provision in the technical and vocational sector. Other important components of the program include improvement in special education programs and provision of well-managed, safe and cost-effective physical learning environments.

Based on the preliminary estimates by the Jordan Ministry of Education, about 82 new schools have been identified under ERfKE II for replacement financed from the World Bank loan. Also to achieve the efficiency targets a number of schools will undergo expansion. Construction of   King Abdullah II Schools of Excellence for children with special needs will be given priority.




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