Turning education goals into reality in Jordan

13 June 2023


A student in a school in Amman, Jordan.

In Jordan, an annual monitoring and evaluation report for the current Education Strategic Plan showcases progress in education. But it’s not just these achievements that point to progress. The growing monitoring and evaluation culture in Jordan today is a triumph of its own.

On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and learning losses, education in the Kingdom of Jordan is making significant progress. After a pandemic-related dip, enrollment in early childhood education and development is picking up. More children with disabilities are now in mainstream schools after a 44% jump in one year. The percentage of schools connected to the Internet has also increased.

These are just some of the highlights from the Ministry of Education’s annual monitoring and evaluation report for 2022 on implementing the current Education Strategic Plan, which runs until 2025.

This report is the most important mechanism for assessing overall education sector progress on a yearly basis.

It also summarizes key challenges and recommendations, which can now be used to inform next year’s departmental work plans.

Anna Haas, an IIEP programme specialist who provided technical support to the team in Jordan, says this annual report is a prime example of how to track – and adjust – plan implementation in real time. “It also embodies a national commitment to ensuring that plans are not only developed but used to transform education,” she explains.

In the framework of the System Strengthening Partnership Programme (SSP) with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, implemented by UNESCO under a Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) supported by Canada, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland, UNESCO/IIEP has been working for nearly three years with the Ministry of Education and partners to set a strong foundation for plan implementation.

This is part of IIEP’s global commitment to support countries to move from vision to new educational realities. To do this, educational planning should be rooted in a monitoring and evaluation framework that defines procedures, responsibilities, and indicators for the efficient implementation of education policies.

Measuring progress on six key domains

This has helped monitor progress across six priority areas – early childhood education and development, access and equity, system strengthening, quality, human resources, and vocational education.

As part of this support, the Ministry of Education established a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework in 2022, available digitally for easy access among education officials.

Dr. Wafa Khataneh, Head of the Monitoring & Evaluation Team in the Ministry, supported staff in learning how to use the framework, which provided key data for the annual report. She also led the drafting of the annual report. She says monitoring and evaluation are key to understanding how implemented policies align with classroom realities.

We need monitoring and evaluation to know what is implemented and check against realities in classrooms.”
-Dr. Wafa Khataneh (read the full interview with her)

IIEP also provided training for Ministry officials from all the central-level directorates to foster a more robust monitoring and evaluation culture. Ultimately, this technical support enabled the Ministry to draft the annual report.

Improved planning to accelerate progress

Institutionalizing monitoring and evaluation in the planning cycle has become especially important in the pandemic era. COVID-19 magnified pre-existing challenges facing education in Jordan, but with a strong M&E function, the Ministry can now know what is working – and what’s not.

The Ministry has implemented large-scale diagnostic assessments to understand the extent of learning losses and support programmes have been launched to improve student learning and to identify strategies and best practices both nationally and from across the world.

Educational progress in Jordan is occurring in tandem with other planning milestones. For example, UNESCO/IIEP recently supported Jordan with its new National Strategy for Crisis and Risk Management to prevent, prepare for, and mitigate natural and human-made hazards in education.