The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is significantly impacting children’s education around the world. On 14 March 2020, the Government of Jordan announced that all schools, kindergartens and universities (private and public) were to be closed from 15 March, impacting 2.37 million learners (50% male/female). Learning outcomes in Jordan are improving, but significant inequalities remain by gender and nationality. School closures bring the risk of increased learning inequality and drop out.
Countries affected by ongoing conflict are especially vulnerable to the social and economic impacts of COVID19. In 2020, the Syria crisis continues into its ninth consecutive year. The registered Syrian refugee population in Jordan. The includes over 230,900 school-age children out of 656,213 registered refugees3 Numbers of unregistered refugees in Jordan are much higher.4 While 85 per cent of Syrian refugees reside in host communities, over 120,000 (79 per cent of whom are women and children) live in camps.
The Government of Jordan is committed to ensure learning continuity for children through distance learning during COVID-19. Televised lessons are broadcast nationally, and digital platforms have been established to facilitate access to educational content and a learning management system. A web-landing page has been created for teachers which hosts professional development courses focused on using new technologies. These initiatives are at a nascent stage and will require significant technical support to be effective in improving learning outcomes. Challenges also exist around children having adequate technology and connectivity to access the sites.
On 22 March 2020, MOE announced the launch of Darsak, an online education platform set up to host the new televised lesson content by lesson and for grades 1-12. In early April, Noorspace, linked to EMIS, was set up as a learning management system to provide teachers and schools the tools to track attendance, monitor engagement and set assessments online. The MOE created a website landing page to host pre-existing teacher professional development programmes on technology, offering 90 training hours of training in partnership with Edraak.