‘Better than nothing:’ Ministry launches learning make-up program

Experts expect low enrollment in optional catch-up classes

students in classroom
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — After one and a half years of an unexpected switch to online education, the educational level of Jordanian students has drastically declined. In previous coverage, education officials told Jordan News that online education in the Kingdom was “immature and largely unsuccessful” and “not an effective alternative to in-class teaching.” اضافة اعلان

In an attempt to make up for the drop in educational quality, the Ministry of Education has launched a compensatory program: Faqed, meaning loss, which will include all students from grade one to eleven.

Minister of Education Mohammad Abu Qdeis announced in press statements that the in-class compensatory program will kick off mid-August and will cover the four main school subjects: mathematics, English, Arabic, and science. The program follows three consecutive semesters of online education for Jordan’s students.

“The program will cover the basic pillars that student mostly need. Manuals will be distributed to students, and teachers will be trained prior to the program,” the minister said.

The statement comes after the Ministry of Education announced an online training opportunity for teachers last week. Almost 6,000 teachers signed up on the online platform, which will “train and cover as many teachers as possible before the beginning of the first semester.”

Educational expert at the ministry, Khalid Taqatqa told Jordan News that schools are already in the process of contacting parents to inform them about the new program, although he personally believes that there will be a relatively low turnout, especially in schools in remote places.

“It’s really tough to convince students to leave their summer holiday and join a compensatory program one whole month before school starts, unless parents forced their children to join, which is not desirable at all,” Taqatqa said.

“In addition, temperatures will be in their peaks, which will definitely be a problem to remote schools with poor infrastructure,” he added. “Classrooms will be exactly like ovens, which will make students not want to attend.”

Mayyada Al Jamal, a 43-year-old parent, told Jordan News that she will only “consider” sending her sixth and fourth grade daughters to the compensatory program because she’s skeptical of its effectiveness.

“I don’t think that one month is enough time to make up for a full year and a half,” Jamal said. “It’s definitely better than nothing though. Also, considering that the program is not compulsory, I don’t know if it’s worth it or not.”

The Civil Service Bureau said that the Ministry of Education will handle all the fees and expenses of the program, and each teacher will be paid approximately 140 dinars as a travel allowance and pocket money for the month-long course.

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