The Jordanian Education System: Confusing!
While talking to my cousin today who graduated high school with 3 SAT’s, I learned that she cannot enroll into any Jordanian Universities because apparently the Ministry of Education in Jordan only accepts 7 SAT’s in order to have your high school classes transferred to Tawjihi Equivalency! Which didn’t make any sense to me at all; I know you need to have 7 Tawjihi’s in order to graduate successfully and enroll into an undergraduate program, but it is possible that they have used the same tactic with SATs?
For those of you who are wondering why 7 SAT’s are too much, it’s because most Universities in the United States and the world require 3 SAT’s, for example Harvard which usually ranks #1 or #2 of all schools in the U.S. With an endowment around $35 billion and more financial resources at its disposal than any other university in the world only requires 3 SATS (depending on the major you chose to study, you can go in with 2 SAT IIs) what makes Jordan think it has a better education that some of the world class universities out there by asking for 7 SATs?
In light of my cousin’s frustration of not wanting to leave Jordan, I decided to do some massive research on the education system in Jordan, only to learn that it is complicated, full of ignorance, hypocritical and a recipe for disaster for some members of the current generation who will probably be the future of this country. Kindly allow me to elaborate:
If the Jordanian Ministry of Education requires (7 SATs) in order to grant Jordanian Students a tawjihi equivalency to proceed with their college education, why are their high schools in Jordan that graduate students with a high school diploma or 3 SATs? Many might argue that it’s ok, maybe the parents of those students approve of this, and that’s fine, but raising the bar to 7 SAT’s where Universities in the United States and Canada only requires 3, is merely encouraging students to seek other options off Jordanian soil?
You don’t even have to go to America or far abroad to continue your education, the American University of Beirut is geographically closer than Aqaba is to Amman, if it weren’t for waiting at the border that is! Why are we pushing our Jordanian Youth to seek education elsewhere? Why are we pushing the future leaders and entrepreneurs of this country to study abroad where they can get a really good education in Jordan? Furthermore, Jordan is a third world country, so is it too much having Jordanians spend their tuition in Jordan, where it will cost them less than half the price of studying abroad (given the tuition fees, accommodation fees, cost of living and transportation fees)?
Furthermore, why is the Ministry treating our kids like full grown adults at the age of 16 and 17? My cousin has personally studied and was raised abroad, but I am glad she finally made it back home to Jordan. However back in the day when she was in High School, well let’s face it, she didn’t have the best grades, and she only finished High School with a 2.5 GPA in terms of Jordan that would be 62.6 % which would apply if she was living here, would not allow her to study Engineering or Business or Marketing. However because she was in the United States, things are different; they look at High School students as bright leaders to be. So they allow you to study whatever major you choose no matter what you finish with from High School; however you do need to get really good grades by then in order to finish and get your degree. But at least they give their kids (future leaders) a chance to became something great not shoot them down at 17 because they had some fun in tawjihi year. In case you are wondering, she did finish her BA Degree in Business with Honors and almost done with her MBA also with Honors, and that was with a 62.6 % High School. It sometimes makes me wonder what if she did her high school in Jordan, where would she be today. I am sorry not all of us are mature by 17 years of age; maybe you should take that into consideration before you start killing the dreams of parents, and kids all over the Kingdom.
We do have American and other foreign universities here in Jordan. So I called to see if I didn’t have all my SATs or didn’t have my Tawjihi Equivalency would I be allowed to study considering they are American or German and in America you only need High School Diploma. BUT the answer was also NO, because even though they are American or whatever, they still have to go by Ministry regulations.
But here is where it got confusing to me and I am sure to you once you read this. I asked an American University with regards to Masters Program, only to find out that In January the Ministry of Higher Education made an announcement that Undergraduate Students who wish to pursue their higher education and have a 2.0 GPA can enroll into Masters Programs, as long as they have a TOEFL score of 400? Now that’s when things got really interesting. An American University in Jordan requires 550 TOEFL and after checking, I found out that it is the only University in Jordan with a 550 TOEFL requirement, and that is imposed on them by the Ministry!!!!! I am lost!!! Why is that the American University in Jordan have a 550 TOEFL Score requirements? Yet everyone else 400?
So I double checked their website in America only to find that in America they require the 550. So in other words, it seemed to me like the Ministry is enforcing regulations as they please not because it makes sense. So our kids in Jordan can’t register in the American University without Tawjihi Equivalency even though in America they don’t ask for it, yet we ask them to go by the higher 550 TOEFL when we the Ministry don’t require it but the Americans do? Does that make much to sense to you? Because really, it’s confusing and doesn’t make any sense to me at all!
I am sorry having such Universities in Jordan is pointless. I mean come on, what is the point of having an American or German University in Jordan if they are being forced to run under Jordan regulations, I as might as well send them to any university in Jordan, how can we call that an American education or German education when it is based on Jordan’s education. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying American or German Universities are better than Jordan University or JUST. However it makes you wonder why parents are sending their kids to foreign universities when they are really not foreign.
Maybe next we should start telling Mercedes and Toyota you can only make cars like our Al-Badi Jordanian Military Produced car. If you are going to have foreign Universities in Jordan, maybe we should let them be foreign.
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