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Education and Schools

Jordan - Education and Schools

The educational system structure in Jordan is made up of a two year cycle of pre-school education, ten years of basic education which is compulsory and two years of secondary or vocational education after which the students sit for a General Certificate of Secondary Education Exam also known as Tawjihi.

The Ministry of Education distributes the study books needed for basic education. Primary and secondary education is free of charge and is made compulsory for all until the age of fifteen.

Schools in Jordan have two main categories, public schools and private schools. The private education sector accommodates more than 31.14% of the student population in Amman, Jordan's capital city. The private school sector is still very heavily taxed, up to 25%. Although this takes a large burden off the government, the school fees are made relatively high, starting out at $1000 going up to $7000. These values for private education fees are considerably high, considering the average family income.

Students in the secondary education level are required to take nine subjects, being Arabic, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Computer Studies, Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Islamic studies are also mandatory for all students with the exception of Christian students. The Secondary Education level is made up of two year's study for students ages 16 to 18, who have completed the ten years of basic education.

Secondary Education comprises of two tracks. Firstly, at the end of the two year secondary education, either academic or vocational, students sit for the general secondary exam, the Tawjihi, in the appropriate branch and those who pass are awarded the Tawjihi certificate. The academic stream qualifies students for entrance to universities, or for those with the vocational or technical type, it qualifies for entrance to Community Colleges, Universities or the job market, provided that they passed two additional subjects.

Secondly, the vocational type of secondary education, which provides students with intensive vocational training and apprenticeships, leads to the award of a different Certificate. Enrolment rates at secondary school level are higher for girls than for boys. In 2007, of all the students enrolled in secondary education, 91% of them were females, compared to 81% of males.

As shown in international assessments, such as TIMSS and PISA, Jordan has performed well when compared with other Arab countries, but it falls short of many other countries with comparable incomes and education expenditures. Jordanian students have been ranked as having 22 points above the international average in Science and Mathematics, by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) report in 2003. However, sadly up to 30% of students drop out before the completion of the 12th grade.

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