Jordan textbooks still inadequate

Education specialists in Jordan "have become increasingly outspoken" about continuing problems with school textbooks, according to The National

In 2003, recognising that the existing curriculum was inadequate for the needs of a modern society, Jordan launched an initiative "to strengthen and integrate critical thinking, problem solving, workplace skills and e-learning approaches" in the core curriculum.

Despite improvements since then, "we still feel that some of the books are loaded with information that is useless and is cumbersome to students,” Amin Mashaqbah, a former member of a committee that rewrote the books, told the newspaper. 

Education in Arab schools has traditionally relied very heavily on memorising and this persists in parts of the Jordanian curriculum.

“The material is so condensed and it does not make us think. We memorise it and forget about it after the test. It is full of rhetoric. … We have to memorise, memorise and memorise,” one student says, referring to the civil education textbook. 

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 22 April 2010.