Jordan is a small Middle Eastern population that borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq. With a population of 6.5 million, its capital Amman has a population of around one million.
Although a small economy, Jordan has a unique position in the Middle East as a transport hub. This coupled with a general perception of stability and openness, means that Jordan is increasingly being seen as an attractive market for entrepreneurs.
Within Jordan, there has also been a tradition of signing Free Trade Agreements with other countries, making it much easier to facilitate trade and investment here.
And in education, Jordan has earned a reputation for having one of the premier public educations systems in the region. Jordan is often perceived as being number one for education across the Middle East. Its first-class education system attracts students from the Gulf, Asia and the US – often making it a regional hub in the region.
And as well as the education system being considered first class, the demand for high-quality English language training across Jordan has never been higher.
Jordan has a young and growing population with more than 70% under the age of 30. With a growth rate of 2.2%, this is bringing around 130,000 new students into the education system each year, and 70,000 new entrants into the labour market.
With this growing youth population, brings with it new challenges for the Jordanian market. There is a feeling that skills training in Jordan needs to be improved to enable young people here to compete nationally and internationally.
Many believe there is a definite gap between the skills required by employers, and the current skills-set of many young people in Jordan. More and more international organisations are entering Jordan. The need for candidates to have a good demand in the English language is one of the most important factors in securing a job in Jordan. A significant increase in the services sector in Jordan, particularly through tourism, has further increased the need for employees to speak English here.
English language provision in the public sector has not met the demand of the increasing numbers of Jordanian students of all ages. In one study, 22% of first, second and third grade students here could not read either English or Arabic.
The English language is often seen as the corporate language of business in Jordan. The Middle East has always seen English language proficiency as important, and considered it a top priority after Arabic.
However, Jordan scores lower than the global average in English proficiency with an average of 47% compared to the 53% global average. Gaps in teacher training, and failure to embrace new technology are often considered additional reasons for this.
In September 2016, the implementation of a new national human resources strategy for 2016-2025 was discussed. Both his Majesty King Abdullah and her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah emphasised the importance of infusing modern technology into the educational system as a tool to both enhance innovation, and ultimately have a positive result on the quality of the education of Jordanian students. The Jordan Education Initiative is one such development that promotes the use of modern technology in every day school life
The demand for quality English programs for children and adults alike has never been higher. This has led to more and more investors considering strong blended ELT programs like Direct English and Pingu’s English to plug the gap. Both these programs offer a strong and effective academic learning system, focusing on developing learner confidence. In-country teacher training in both systems is provided to all new Master Franchisees, and our online resources are first class. For more information visit www.directenglish.com and www.pingusenglish.com.
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