AMMAN — Starting next year, university admission policies will change in an attempt “to save education in Jordan”, according to Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Oweis.
During a media forum hosted by the Centre for Defending Freedoms of Journalists (CDFJ) on Tuesday, Oweis said that the merging of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research needs specific procedures, one of which is the transfer of certain competencies to universities in Jordan.
The minister noted that “the ministry has set a plan regarding transferring its university admissions functions to universities, which would alleviate the burdens of the ministry so that one minister could head two ministries after the merger happens.”
The plan would need around two years to be implemented, so that universities across the Kingdom would be ready to deal with the new tasks, he pointed out, noting that “Tawjihi (the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination) should be reconsidered, as it no longer measures students’ abilities”.
Commenting on the ministry’s plan, sociologist and a professor at one of the Kingdom’s universities Hussein Khozahe said that “this step might have enormous pros and might even bring about educational justice”.
However, Khozahe added that by transferring admission functions from the ministry to the universities, the government would shield the Higher Education Ministry from blame for potential negligence in the educational process.
Moreover, Khozahe highlighted the need to ensure whether universities are capable of undertaking this responsibility, which would allow each university to set its own entry requirements for its courses.
On the same note, Amal Hasan, a university lecturer, said that to maintain the quality of higher education, the ministry should at least oversee universities’ admission requirements.
“Education should be one of Jordan’s top priorities, therefore, implementing a plan like this needs precision,” she added.
“This plan will be a good one as long as it positively impacts students,” said Mohammad Manaseer, who just finished Tawjihi.
On Thursday, The Jordan Times contacted the ministry’s spokesperson, but he was unavailable for comment.
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