Keeping track of educational change in Jordan

22 November 2022

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In Jordan, the Ministry of Education is striving to advance education across six broad areas – early childhood education and development, access and equity, system strengthening, quality, human resources, and vocational education. How does the Ministry of Education stay on track of progress and keep dialogue open to match education goals with what’s happening inside classrooms?

A new Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework – now available digitally for easy access for education officials – is underway for the current education strategic plan (ESP). With a limited set of results indicators linked to all six areas of the ESP, the framework will guide dialogue and provide important evidence to feed into annual reports that help track educational progress for Jordan as a whole.

As staff across the Ministry are now learning how to use the new framework through a series of technical workshops, Dr. Wafa Khataneh, Head of the Ministry’s M&E team, caught up with IIEP in Amman Jordan. She says the new framework is an important tool for realizing Jordan’s education goals. 

IIEP-UNESCO: Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) can sound quite technical to the beneficiaries – school children, parents – of an education system. But behind the scenes, it is a crucial part of making sure education goals and objectives are feasible. Why is your work on M&E important? 

Dr. Khataneh: It is important because we need to be sure the Ministry’s education policies and plans are implemented and that targets are met.

We need monitoring and evaluation to know what is implemented and check against realities in classrooms. 

IIEP-UNESCO: How have you been leading the process internally? 

Dr. Khataneh: I am leading through coaching. I have worked for many years in the Ministry, in three different directorates – in general education, in private education, and in the planning directorate – and I am a trained teacher, so I know the Ministry well. This helps a lot for coaching and to be able to develop and introduce the revised M&E framework for the ESP. 

Leading the process still has its challenges, because my section is very small with too few staff, so my strategy is to train more people in M&E across the Ministry and create a stronger M&E culture. We are having trainings with IIEP, representing the first time we train a group of 22 M&E liaison officers that come from each of the Ministry’s directorates. 

IIEP-UNESCO: This framework seems like a big change for the Ministry. Can you tell us how? 

Dr. Khataneh: Definitely, it helps to structure and develop capacity to know what to focus on. The digital platform that we will use for the first time will also be a big change, and a big help for everyone to see the same data online in a common system. We used to work on paper, with excel sheets, but the online tool that is now being used for the first time will help for the monitoring of ESP indicators. 

Another big change is the reduced number of indicators. Based on the smaller set of indicators, each department director can easily describe and provide summaries of achievements and evaluate where improvements are needed. For example, COVID-19 has led to learning losses for many Jordanian children and youth.

The Ministry is working hard to address this problem, together with partners. The updated M&E framework helps us to jointly track how we are doing.  

IIEP-UNESCO: What kind of progress do you hope to see next? And, how does this work translate into change in Jordan’s education system? 

Dr. Khataneh: I hope the Minister will really use the data that we are able to present more often. It would mean that we are better able to learn from results and put things in the right place based on what we learn about ESP results.

 

These technical workshops are organized as part of UNESCO's System Strengthening Partnership Programme (SSP) with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, under a Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) with Canada, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. IIEP, together with UNESCO Jordan, provide technical support.

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