Jordan has almost achieved its target of universal access to primary education - with 97% of children in school - and maintained gender parity in education since 1979. However, progress in school enrolment has not benefited all children equally, including children with disabilities and refugee children, and improving the quality of education requires greater focus and investment.
Children from poor socio-economic backgrounds, children involved in child labour and children with disabilities are at a higher risk of being out of school. Children with multiple and overlapping vulnerabilities are at greater risk of either dropping out or being out of education altogether.
Early childhood development opportunities occur primarily in homes, with only 13% of children aged 3 to 4 years old accessing Kindergarten 1 (KG1); and 59% of those aged 5 to 6 years old attending Kindergarten 2 (KG2).
More female students are enrolled in secondary school than male students. Boys are more likely to drop out of school due to poor academic achievements, violence, bullying and labour. Lagging boys’ performance may be tied to teacher quality, availability of male teachers, violence in schools, availability of quality school environments and student-teacher ratio.
Meanwhile, girls are more likely to be kept at home due to protection concerns and household responsibilities such as caring for younger siblings or ailing parents. Girls are also far more likely to be married at an early age.
Learning outcomes in Jordan are poor throughout basic and secondary education. 70% of students in Grades 2 and 3 are reading without comprehension (National Committee for Human Resources Development, 2016). Students consistently perform poorly in international standardized tests, including in mathematics and science.