Analysis, Middle East, Side Feature

The State of Education in Jordan is Disastrous and in Need of Radical Change for Rescue

Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education, Azmi Mahafza, stated on Sunday, June 18, 2023, “Experts estimate that it would take more than 10 years to address and compensate for the educational deficit.” He discussed the existence of “educational poverty” in Jordan prior to 2019, which refers to the inability of fourth-grade students to read and comprehend a small paragraph. The percentage of educational poverty was approximately 52.5%. Additionally, more than half of the students had significant educational deficiencies based on international standards and international assessments. Studies have confirmed the presence of a considerable educational deficit.

Ten years prior, Minister of Education at the time, Dr. Mohammad Thneibat, made a statement on December 22, 2013, that students in the first three grades of schools were unable to read Arabic or English letters, comprising around 22% of the total number of students, approximately 100,000 students. It is the same minister who experienced profound distress due to the results of the Tawjihi exams in 2014, where 342 schools across the kingdom had no successful students.

Between the statements of this minister and that, a decade has passed and the state of education has only deteriorated further, reaching a stage of collapse. The reality of poor education is experienced by every family in Jordan, and it does not require any commentary or the presentation of evidence and quotations from ministers or those who call themselves experts of successive government regimes. It is about the catastrophic state of education that has affected all levels, from elementary to higher education, and has extended to its cultural and scientific curricula, as well as its deteriorating and ever-changing administrative system with each education minister, who are numerous and change with each academic year.

Examples of the education crisis in Jordan and in all Muslim countries are agreed upon by relevant circles, as it has reached a miserable state at present that cannot be fully described. However, we can cite what education ministers have said about the poverty and educational deficit that requires more than ten years to compensate for, and the continuous changes in curricula to suit the dictates of the colonizing West, with the dominance of financial aid and non-governmental organizations. This aims to Westernize our children and youth and introduce corrupt Western values into the minds of our students, such as freedom, child rights, secularism, and democracy, in the sense of people’s rule, to remove the rule of Allah and His Shariah. Moreover, efforts are being made to introduce these values into advanced-level curricula under the guise of philosophy and democracy.

And on top of this corrupt and disastrous education policy, the Jordanian system imposes it on people at exorbitant costs. It has become a source of frustration and poor quality. Those who seek education and discipline, even within the context of corruption, resort to expensive private schools, where the current minister pointed out the lack of evidence of a significant educational deficit in private schools. This is a clear indication of the state’s mismanagement of people’s interests. Although education is supposed to be free, it deceives its students during school vacations, as the number of school days in an academic year does not exceed 200 days, causing our children to lose the remaining part of the year from their lives. Instead of implementing continuous teaching curricula that cater to students’ proficiency levels and provide an opportunity to complete their schooling in fewer years, it would alleviate the burden of these breaks on parents.

As a result of this negligence in the educational care provided by the state, education has become one of the widest avenues for government and private investment, both at the school and higher education levels. This has been facilitated, especially for foreign-oriented schools or private universities. In fact, government universities have turned into commercial institutions through what is known as the parallel program. For example, while 100 students were accepted to study medicine in one university, over 1,500 students were accepted in the parallel program. The revenues generated from the parallel program accounted for 40% of the supposed budgets of government universities, which were supposed to be government-funded through high taxes imposed on the people. This led to some Gulf states refraining from sending their children to study in Jordanian universities due to overcrowding and a decline in the quality of education.

This miserable state of education is not resistant to change and saving our children from deviating in educational curricula and the time gap they accept. We risk losing an entire generation whose level of education, culture, and knowledge befitting their position in this venerable Islamic Ummah. The culture of a nation is its backbone, upon which its civilization is built, its goals and objectives are defined, and its way of life is characterized. This culture represents its beliefs, from which rulings, remedies, and systems emerge, and upon which knowledge and sciences are built.

One of the main reasons for the failure of the educational policy is the contradiction between the desired culture and goals in the current prevailing national state and the culture that colonial policy stripped from the educational curriculum, which is concerned with the true personality of the principle embraced by the nation, not the state, which is Islamic culture. The educational policy in an Islamic State is based on the Aqeedah, where study materials and teaching methods are developed in a way that does not deviate from this foundation. The purpose of education is to develop an Islamic personality and provide people with knowledge and understanding related to life matters. Therefore, Islamic culture must be taught at all stages of education.

We have previously highlighted in various occasions and statements the fundamental principles, goals, teaching methods, and curriculum structure of the educational policy in this state. They have all been adopted based on clear Shari’ evidence, and the correct method of teaching is through intellectual discourse from the teacher and intellectual reception from the learner. Thought or intellect is the tool for education and learning, not a monotonous method of indoctrination or a policy that instills imitation and conformity. Instead, it is a policy that follows the principles of leadership and creativity.

Throughout its history, Dawlat Al-Khilafah (Caliphate State) has given great importance and substantial support to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in accordance with the principles of Islam. It has been a center of learning in the world, attracting the academic excellence of educational institutions and the best scholars and thinkers from various parts of the world. It has provided top-quality education to thousands of students, created an era known for innovation and discovery, and established a great civilization that became a major force in the world. Therefore, it is our duty to work diligently to restore the Khilafah Rashidah (rightly guided Caliphate), a Khilafah based on truth and justice, so that the lands of Islam can once again become a shining beacon of educational goodness, not only for the Muslim world but for the entire world.

[وَاللهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئاً وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ]

“And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful.” [An-Nahl: 78]

Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Wilayah Jordan

Press Release
2 Dhu al-Hijjah 1444 – Tuesday, 20th June 2023
No: 23 / 1444