Education Challenges in Jordan

Challenges: Jordan, despite showing impressive improvement in the education system, still needs to fix some of the persistent problems in this sector. With the rising growing youth population, Jordanian government has to ensure that the quality of education and level of skills imparted can help the new generation to compete effectively in the national and international arena. Currently, there are a number of problems: a mismatch of skills taught and skills required by the employers leading to high unemployment, and the fewer jobs that have been created for Jordanians are of low skills; outdated teaching methodologies; lack of teachers' training and limited use of technology.

A recent school utilization study indicates that the number of Ministry of Education students is expected to increase by 124,634 between 2008 and 2013. To accommodate the rise in students, additional 3,360 classrooms will be needed during this time period. The same study reveals an uneven provision of educational infrastructure. In the Kingdom there exists concurrently excess capacity and wide-scale overcrowding of the schools.

Then the government spending on higher education needs to increase to cater to the rising demand for higher education. Instead, public spending for higher education has declined over the years; it is 14.7 percent of total education expenditures or 0.65 percent of GDP which is low when compared to other middle income countries and to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of 1.6 percent of GDP. Even transfers to universities have declined from JD 60.4 million in 2004 to JD 52.6 million in 2007 and JD 45 million in 2008.