Illiteracy drops to 5 percent in Jordan in 2020, official says

1. Illiteracy
Compulsory primary school attendance is considered one of the main factors that contributed to the significant drop in illiteracy. (Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — Illiteracy dropped to 5 percent in Jordan by the end of 2020, according to Ahmad Al-Masafa, official spokesman of the Ministry of Education, a low figure compared to those of other Arab countries.اضافة اعلان

“We are looking forward for it to reach 0 percent in the near future, especially that his Majesty King Abdullah attaches great importance to the education sector,” Masafa told Jordan News.

In the scholastic year 2020/2021, 147 literacy centers were opened, “127 for females and 20 for males”; 1,721 individuals enrolled in them, 1,405 females and 316 males.

Masafa said that the ministry equips these centers with everything they might need to facilitate teaching.

“We give them stationery and pay the salaries of teachers. Students do not pay (anything). All they have to do is come and learn,” he said.

One of the main factors that contributed to the significant drop in illiteracy is that “primary education is compulsory and we consider this decision as a preventive measure that helps avoid an increase in illiteracy”.

What also helps is the “follow-up on student affairs by cadres of the Ministry of Education, and recording the attendance and absence of each and every student.”

“Students cannot skip school because they know that the concerned entities would notice their absence, and therefore, they are afraid of the consequences,” which entail after-school detention and expelling from school.

Director of the Department of Education at the Ministry of Education Nabeel Hanaqta told Jordan News that the literacy programs initiated by the ministry aim to eliminate illiteracy.

“Anyone who is older than 15 can join this free program; after a four years course, the attendees graduate as grade-three students,” he said.

According to Hanaqta, the ministry targets people who cannot read or write, urging them to join the free program.

“We had people who were 50 years old when they decided to enroll in that program,” he said, adding: “I can say that what we achieved in the last years toward eradicating illiteracy is something to be proud of; illiteracy had reached 80 percent in 1952, and now it is just 5 percent. I believe that in the upcoming years the percentage will keep on dropping till it reaches zero percent.”

He also said that nowadays people are illiterate when it comes to technology.

“Illiteracy in reading and writing is not a problem anymore among those who work in the education sector, especially that people are aware nowadays of the importance of education. Our plan for the near future is to eradicate illiteracy in technology,” Hanaqta said.

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