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A new school year

Sep 01,2019 - Last updated at Sep 01,2019

Schools, private and public, started the new school year on Sunday after extensive preparedness. According to the Ministry of Education, more than two million students attend classrooms at pubic and private schools this new year.

In anticipation of the new school year, the government has added 17 new schools at considerable expense. In addition, about 363 new classrooms have been added to existing schools to deal with the additional load of students.

Kindergarten schools are the newest innovation to the education system that the government has promoted. Many new teachers have been hired for this purpose by both public and private schools. The two-tier education system in the country, part public and part private, will no doubt face additional stresses this year in view of the expansion of the student population in the country.

New technologies have been added to most of the schools in urban areas, including computers and the Internet, but this is not always the case in rural areas, where there are no private schools to fill the gap and the public schools have to depend on old technologies to prepare their students for the new year. 

This gap between urban and rural areas in the quality of education is a chronic problem that awaits resolution. No wonder graduates of public schools in rural districts score much lower than graduates from schools in major urban areas.

While this problem cannot be expected to be solved overnight, the authorities are called to attend to this challenge as quickly as possible because it is not fair to the children of people who live in remote areas of the country.

Part of the problem facing public schools is the absence of coeducation in classrooms as a matter of principle. When is Jordan going to stop the existing segregation of schools on the basis of gender? This is another major challenge facing the public education system. We no longer live in a gender-segregated society, as women and men work together in all walks of life.

Finally, students rush to enter their schools before classes begin, and in so doing, they often cross streets haphazardly for lack of well-designated zebra lines for safe crossings. Rectifying this grave omission should not take much effort or entail much expense.

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