Poor economy blocks Jordanian men’s road to higher education, study

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AMMAN — A national survey conducted by the Amman-based Al-Quds Center for Political Studies found that the difficult economic situation was the reason 80 percent of young Jordanian men dropped the dream of pursuing higher education.اضافة اعلان

Bad academic achievement was the second obstacle, according to the study, whose findings also show that 71.9 percent of respondents consider a university degree to be important, while 26.9 percent see it “unnecessary”.

Access to better job opportunities was the reason 63.5 percent of the sample said it is necessary to obtain a university degree; 25.1 percent believe a university degree gives them a prestigious social status.

About 22.1 percent of those who did not complete their university education blamed their poor academic achievements, according to the study, whose authors say that this particular finding raises the issue of the need for effective remedial programs and counseling for these students.

Economist Jawad Al-Anani said that that there is a large surplus of students and graduates in many majors because acquiring higher education has become a pattern, and urged reconsidering education policymaking, to steer school graduates toward education needed in the labor market.

Anani said that the study underlines the need to re-orientate education, stressing that no more than 25 percent of high school graduates should enroll in universities. For the rest, he said, studying for four years is a waste of time.

Anani said that young people today may be more rational than policymakers themselves, adding that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education to prioritize the development of an appropriate plan for manpower.

Professor of sociology at the University of Jordan, Hassan Khozahe, said that while many young people cannot afford college due to the economic situation, university degree holders are struggling with unemployment.

Khozahe added that young people “suffer disappointment, tension, and frustration due to the economic situation”, and that a degree is no longer the means to start a career and build a life. As a result, the cost of education has become an economic burden for students and their families because there is no return on this investment.

Khozahe stressed that the worst manifestation of this issue is the bleak outlook toward education and universities, which have become a factor pushing the unemployment rate upward.

He said that the difficult economic situation weighs on young people and on the heads of the families, and makes them feel helpless. As a result, young people may reach a mental state where they lose hope and develop sociopathic attitudes toward society, noting that 66 percent of crimes in Jordan are driven by economic motives.

He also said that “there are justifiable fears that uneducated or unemployed youth may engage in violence”.

Ghaith Abu Zaid is studying accounting in the second year. He said he will not be able to complete his studies because of the economic situation.

“I believe it is no longer necessary. My brothers have already graduated and all are still unemployed and a burden on the family.”

Abu Zaid said that he might change track and consider vocational education, learn a trade and avoid the destiny of his siblings.

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