Controversy over Collins Curriculum

School schools
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
Thousands of Jordanian parents of public-school students have voiced their opposition to the Collins Curriculum which introduces new "experimental" science and mathematics books for students of first, fourth, and seventh grade Simultaneously, social media campaigns have emerged, demanding the abolition of the Collins Curriculum.اضافة اعلان

Amani Mahmoud, a 37-year-old employee and mother of three, expressed her concerns, stating, "The curricula are too advanced for first, fourth, and seventh-grade students, leaving significant gaps. We now heavily rely on teachers to assist our children." Amani questioned why the Collins Curriculum was adopted while the old national curricula were left behind.

A confusing curriculum
The same concern has transcended to some teachers as well. According to teacher Hala Al-Maadat, numerous parents lodged complaints about the Collins Curriculum with teachers and the National Center for Curriculum Development. However, no action has been taken by the authorities to address these complaints. Maadat called for a return to the old curriculum and suggested modifying the Collins Curriculum or developing the old national curricula based on feedback from parents and teachers.

Enshirah Sandouqa, a 24-year-old physics teacher at the Ministry of Education, also shared her concern "I have taught various curricula, but the evaluation of Collins' curricula should be prioritized. It has caused confusion by introducing English numbers after students had become accustomed to using Arabic numbers. Furthermore, it contains information that requires significant time for comprehension,” she said.

Sandouqa questioned why the Collins Curriculum was adopted instead of developing and improving the old national curriculum, as no progress seems to have been made.

She noted that the Collins Curriculum has burdened teachers, leaving them unable to cover the subject adequately given the class size, overcrowding, and limited class duration.

According to Sandouqa, 90 percent of students struggle to comprehend the entire curriculum, resulting in their dislike for it. This places significant pressure on teachers. In comparison, with the old curricula, two-thirds of students in a class were able to understand the material.

Translation was inadequate
Meanwhile, Dr. Thouqan Obeidat, former head of the Advisory Committee for Curriculum Development, revealed that an agreement was signed between the Jordanian government and Collins for the use of their mathematics and science curricula.

However, the Arabic translation of these curricula in 2019 was inadequate, leading to discontent.

Joint committees were subsequently formed to re-translate the books, with the National Center for Jordanian Curricula and Collins collaborating on printing the revised copies.

Dr. Obeidat highlighted that the individuals responsible for these books at Collins are experts in the respective subjects, rather than educational specialists. He advocated for student-centered curricula that engage students with future-oriented content to foster their interest in the subjects.

One major drawback
One drawback of the Collins curricula is their length, requiring an extended period for completion and study, leading to the Ministry of Education extending the academic year.

An in-depth examination
Dr. Obeidat stressed that Collins' curricula focused on the present and past, neglecting future perspectives and research. He called for an in-depth examination of the issue of students tearing and discarding books, emphasizing the need for comprehensive analysis.

He highlighted that the Ministry of Education should evaluate the books, preferably through an independent body that considers students' time, effort, and needs, aligning with the existing educational conditions and environment while incorporating future sciences.

An informed source disclosed that none of the members of the Supreme Curriculum Council hold a doctorate degree in curricula. The same applies to the members of the Education Council, indicating a need for reassessment.

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