Education Management System

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is responsible for the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels of education. The post-secondary education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR). This Ministry includes the Higher Education Council and the Accreditation Council. The MoHESR has outlined a National Strategy for Higher Education for the years 2007-2012.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the post-basic level (excluding community colleges) as well as applied vocational education, administered by the Vocational Training Corporation(VTC), is under the authority of the Ministry of Labor.

School Education
The structure of the educational system in Jordan consists of a two-year cycle of pre-school education, ten years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary academic or vocational education after which the students sit for a General Certificate of Secondary Education Exam--Tawjihi. Basic Education is free of charge, and so is generally secondary education in public schools.

Basic Education
Basic Education is a 10-year compulsory and free level of education. Study books are standard books distributed by the Ministry of Education. Education is compulsory for all through the age of fifteen.

More than half of the Jordan population is below the age of 30 years. About 42.2 percent are 14 years or younger, whereas 31.4 percent fall between 15-29 years of age; almost one-third of the Jordanians are enrolled in educational facilities. As of 2007/2008 the gross primary enrollment rate is 95.7 percent which is higher than the regional average of 93 percent. Jordan also ensures a high level of gender parity in access to basic services; the gender parity index for gross enrollment ratio in primary education is 0.98, better than other Arab countries. It is also one of the few Arab countries that have very small disparity in primary school attendance rates among urban and rural areas. This is mainly because public financing for basic schooling is more pro-poor than that for any other education level.

Schools in Jordan have two main categories, public and private. The private education sector accommodates more than 31.14 percent of the student population in the capital of Jordan, Amman. This sector is still heavily taxed, up to 25%++, although it takes a high burden off the government of the Kingdom, which makes school fees relatively high, starting at $1000, and going up to $7000. These values for private education fees are extremely high when compared to the average family incomes.

Secondary education
Students in this education level are required to take nine subjects: Arabic, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Computer Studies, Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Islamic studies are also mandatory for all students except for Christian students. The secondary education level consists of two years' study for students aged 16 to 18 who have completed the basic cycle (ten years) and comprises two major tracks:

Secondary education (managed by the Ministry of Education), which can either be academic or vocational. At the end of the two-year period, students sit for the general secondary examination (Tawjihi) in the appropriate branch and those who pass are awarded the Tawjihi (General Secondary Education Certificate). The academic stream qualifies students for entrance to universities, whereas the vocational or technical type qualifies for entrance to Community Colleges or universities or the job market, provided they pass the two additional subjects.

Applied secondary education (managed by the Vocational Training corporation), which provides intensive vocational training and apprenticeship, and leads to the award of a certificate (not the Tawjihi). Practical training is made through apprenticeship, and not in school workshops as in vocational secondary education.

Enrollment rates at secondary level have remained fairly constant since 2002 at around 89 percent. In terms of enrollment by gender, girls' enrollment rate is higher than the enrollment rates for boys. In 2007 there were 91 percent females enrolled in secondary education compared to 88 percent of males. As can be seen from the chart below, the secondary enrollment rates are higher than the regional average by almost 25 percentage points.
The enrollment in secondary vocational education as a share of total secondary enrollment declined from 18 percent in 2000 to 12 percent in 2005, which shows that government needs to put in greater efforts to realign the national vocational program with reforms initiated by the Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs and Higher Education and Scientific Research to impart skills sought after by employers when hiring new workers.

Jordan still needs to focus on improving the quality of primary and secondary education levels. In international assessments, such as TIMSS and PISA, Jordan has performed well in comparison to other Arab countries, but it falls below many countries with comparable incomes and education expenditures. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Report in 2003 ranked Jordanian students' scores to be 22 points above international average in science and mathematics. However, up to 30 percent of students drop out before the completion of the 11th grade.

But in the 2011 TIMSS edition, Jordan slipped to a 10-year low in math and science.

Despite highly equitable primary education, secondary level and vocational training still reflect gender and income distortions. Completion and transition rates to tertiary education are highly correlated with family incomes; there are 3 times more students at the university level from families in upper two income quintiles.