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الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Education specialists during a meeting for “Nafe”: Educational systems need to be reviewed periodically to meet societal aspirations… And the curriculum is the only reference for the Tawjihi exam.


Every year, and despite the deluge of messages broadcast by the Ministry of Education to create a positive atmosphere for the students and their families and reassure them that the general secondary exams are “normal” and that the questions thereof are derived from the school curriculum, these attempts to reassure are quickly dispelled due to the deep-rooted idea in the collective memory about the much-feared Tawjihi exam.

According to education specialists, there have been profound social, educational, and economic transformations over the past few years that have changed the Tawjihi exam in its current form for several objective reasons. In this context, and in order to exchange experiences and knowledge regarding this “crucial exam”, as well as the societal expectations for the results and how students and parents can prepare for the exams, and with the aim of looking at ways for further improvement and development, a discussion session titled: “Tawjihi and societal expectations” was held, organized by the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), on Monday, August 7, 2023, as part of a series of discussions by the National Alliance for the Future of Education in Jordan (Nafe), and in the presence of a number of representatives of the education sector, civil society, students, and other interested people working in this field.

The Director of the Examination Department at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Muhammad Kinanah, said that the employees of the ministry have gained cumulative experience over the course of many years, which contributed to making fundamental changes to the General Secondary Education exam, which still maintains its reputation locally and in the Arab world, indicating that the form of the exam will witness a radical and fundamental change in the coming period.

As for the new Tawjihi exam in the coming period, Kinanah revealed that applying for the General Secondary Exam will be done over two years, the first part of which will take place in the eleventh grade, while the second part will take place in the twelfth grade, explaining that the system will be applied starting from the academic year 2024/2025, and that in the second year after the student completes the subjects of the twelfth grade, they will undertake exams in specialized subjects.

According to Kinanah, this year was not different from the previous ones, as the reports of the supervisory committees stated that the exam was conducted in a “safe, objective, and accurate” manner, came within the tables of specifications and knowledge levels approved by the ministry, and was more “easy than difficult.”

Regarding the media and social media reports on the presence of many errors in the exams, Kinanah stressed that the only scientific error was found in the “mathematics exam”, with no errors in other exams such as chemistry, physics, and English. He then went on to stress that the rumors were inaccurate, pointing out that the subject textbooks are the ministry’s only reference for the exams.

Kinanah also stated that the “greatest problem” facing high school students is being lured by different educational platforms that provide them with educational materials holding different views. There is a school that “derides” the school curriculum, which means “fooling the student and pushing them toward emotional rather than rational judgment”, and another school that complicates the curriculum, thus causing the students to feel lost and mentally exhausted.

Moreover, Kinanah criticized some of the actions of the media during their coverage of the Tawjihi exams, stressing the importance of presenting views in a neutral and honest manner, considering in this context that, when talking to the media, students only refer to their personal experience, which cannot be generalized to represent that everyone else.

In an evaluative look at the Tawjihi exam, Dr. Jihad Al-Anati, measurement and evaluation expert at the University of Jordan, pointed out that Tawjihi has always sparked outcries by people, noting that these exams have been held since the sixties according to scientific and methodological steps consistent with Jordanian university education, reminding that the objections raised about the General Secondary Education exams are neither new nor surprising.

For his part, Jawad Al-Jaradin, a Tawjihi student from Tafilah Governorate, spoke about the difficulty of the technical drawing exam and the lack of a vast and specialized space in his school, calling on the Ministry of Education to study the conditions of schools in the remote governorates and underprivileged areas and secure the needs of their students.

On the other hand, Tawjihi student Salma Sadiq (from Yemen) talked about the problem of students’ perceived fear of the exams, while touching on the suffering of refugees having to buy textbooks from outside school at high prices, demanding an end to this challenging situation.

Furthermore, extensive discussions took place between the participants during the meeting moderated by the Education Program Advisor at ARDD, Dr. Aseel Al-Shawareb, where they stressed the need to issue legislation to control educational platforms in the Kingdom, focus on the exam’s psychological impact on students, and review educational systems periodically, as well as assigning an approved government centre with the task of diagnosing cases of learning difficulties, while stressing the need to have continuous follow-up and monitoring of the educational process, and to provide capabilities, especially with regard to vocational and technical education, which requires qualified cadres and large material capabilities, as well as working to provide them in government schools all over the Kingdom, in addition to regulating the relationship between families and schools, and holding periodic meetings to discuss issues related to education where the government would partner with civil society and the private sector.