Institutional Capacity Needs Assessment on Inclusion and Diversity in Education in Jordan supported by UNESCO and GIZ

The Institutional Capacity Needs Assessment on Inclusion and Diversity in Education in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was undertaken in 2021 at the request of the Jordanian Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), in order to guide and provide information for the development of a comprehensive institutional capacity development plan, to be implemented over several stages. The assessment maps individual and institutional gaps and capacity needs of key entities responsible for the implementation of Jordan’s 10 Years Inclusive Education Strategy (IES).

The assessment collected information through a literature review, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews from representatives of MoE, HCD, the National Centre for Curriculum Development, the Queen Rania Teacher Academy, multilateral organizations, donors, and local and international NGOs. 

While Jordan has shown great commitment and made significant progress towards inclusion and diversity in education, through implementing foundational work and several programmes and initiatives to change negative attitudes around disability and improve access to quality schools and classrooms, the assessment focused on the main challenges and gaps with respect to institutional capacities in that area.

Among these, the assessment identified a general lack of awareness and holistic understanding about inclusion and diversity in education, including gender related issues. Gaps also exist between policies, strategies, and implementation. Further connection between policy makers and the reality of education practice at school level is needed to improve relevance and effectiveness at decentralized level.

The assessment highlighted additional challenges and gaps that hinder progress towards inclusion and diversity, including outdated curricula and textbooks that do not promote diversity and inclusion and that are not gender sensitive; lack of adequate and accessible learning spaces and assistive equipment in schools; as well as irrelevant teacher education and training in the field of inclusion, where a general lack of knowledge, skills, and practices in inclusive pedagogical approaches was observed. Moreover, the EMIS (Education Monitoring Information System) needs further disaggregation of important metrics which underpin inclusion.

The assessment concludes with a set of twenty recommendations that are drawn from over sixty interviews and fifty questionnaires administered with a wide range of respondents. The recommendations offer a linked, holistic approach towards greater inclusion and diversity in education in Jordan with respect to broad areas such as attitudes and understanding of inclusion and diversity in education; policies, strategies, and action plans; institutional structures, leadership, and management; projects, activities, and studies; human resources, professional development, training, curriculum, material, and support; and financing. Raising awareness, changing attitudes, and developing a more comprehensive understanding of inclusion and diversity in education is highlighted across all recommendations, as well as enhancing communication, coordination, and planning.

The institutional Capacity Needs Assessment on Inclusion and Diversity in Jordan is part of the ongoing collaboration between UNESCO and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) aiming at providing technical assistance to the Jordanian MoE in their efforts towards inclusion, in line with the goals and priorities outlined in the National 10-Year Inclusive Education Strategy, and under the framework of the GIZ - Promoting quality in inclusive education in Jordan (PROMISE) Programme funded by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The recommendations were drafted to generate discussions and reflections among key stakeholders within the system and have been further unpacked through a series of technical working sessions with MoE, HCD and key partners between September and December 2021. Key findings, recommendations, and way forward were discussed in view of informing the shape of the upcoming development process under one framework/roadmap. As a follow-up, it is expected that partners, through this joint roadmap, identify their on-going or future contributions and collaboration in support to the IES. Under the UNESCO/GIZ partnership with the MoE and HCD, and as direct contribution to this process, a series of introductory capacity development trainings and sessions will be launched in 2022 with key stakeholders from MoE, HCD, as well as with 18 pilot schools in the directorates of Ajloun, Karak and Marka.