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Extracurricular activities within the Jordanian Ministry of Education: Rapid review of needs, gaps and opportunities, March 2020

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INTRODUCTION

The Ministry of Education (MOE) re-enacted extracurricular activities (ECA) in public schools across the Kingdom for the 2017-2018 academic school year. Building on this, the then Minister of Education and current Prime Minister, HE Dr. Omar Razzaz in March 2018 announced that 20% of the time students spend in school would focus on extracurricular activities, inclusive of art and sports, learning how to communicate and cooperate, work in a team, and maintain and develop students’ curiosity are some of the proposed solutions. This has translated into 90 minutes a week (or two blocks) dedicated to extra curricula. He noted that summer vacation would be dedicated to building students’ character and instilling them with a sense of national belonging. The proposed approach, developed by Development Coordination Unit (DCU) and endorsed by the Prime Minister, identified a set of guiding principles to govern ECA. Despite efforts to mainstream extra curricula the MOE remains dissatisfied with the current state of ECA, as schools are unable to successfully implement in-school activities, let alone develop plans for after school and summer ECA.

To this end, USAID’s Extracurricular Activities (ECA) embedded consultant and supporting personnel (team) produced this report, with the aim to inform the development of a strategic framework for ECA. The report aims to identify the gaps, needs and opportunities in order to support the MOE to strengthen extracurricular activities, support establishment and standards for ECA implementation, while leveraging existing successful ECA projects, and utilizing available resources and capacities, in order to identify and address capacity needs within the MOE and public schools. Furthermore, the report aims to enable the ECA strategic framework to customize its development and application to the socio-economic and cultural needs of students in MOE schools. Findings from the field work presented in the report aim to harmonize ECA standards and implementation methods that are easily adopted on a school level, thus, ensuring sustainability of implementation.