6.8 Jordan

The Government of Jordan has made significant efforts to integrate ICTs into education, including by ensuring connectivity in schools. E-learning programmes like the Jordan Education Initiative and EduWave have made a strong contribution to Jordan's ICT growth and to its future as an integral part of a global knowledge economy. Jordanian law now requires all public schools to offer English from the first grade onward and to teach computer usage from the second grade through high school. All secondary schools in Jordan now have fully equipped computer labs, and ADSL connectivity has reached more than 600 of Jordan's 3,000 public schools. The number of students per computer ratio now stands at 51 to 1, compared to 120 to1 in 1999. 232

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has implemented a number of projects, including the introduction of ICTs through computer labs in public schools, as well as Internet connectivity, and the provision of equipment such as printers and, scanners. The MoE also created an e-learning portal (EduWave), which enables all end users to communicate through discussion forums, chat applications, e-exams, e-mail and others. EduWave also enhances education by activating the various e-content subjects, such as math, science, English and Arabic languages, IT, civics and health education. The MoE also integrated ICTs into the education syllabus in 2000 for grades 7-11 and provided training to teachers, encouraging them to attend professional development programmes. MoE also presented scholarships to some teachers so they could get an ICT diploma or a master’s degree in education. 233

In addition, the Jordan Education Initiative was created in June 2003 as a partnership between the public and private sectors, by the World Economic Forum and the Jordanian Government. The aim was to support Jordan's efforts to improve the level of education, encourage creativity, develop capabilities and build a knowledge economy, using the latest technological tools in 100 government schools that were later named "Discovery Schools." 234

Apart from ensuring a competitive marketplace where connectivity is becoming widespread throughout the country, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MoICT) has begun the National Broadband Network Programme (NBN Programme), which further contributes to the development of Jordan’s educational system by increasing ICT diffusion in universities, community colleges, schools and other learning institutions throughout the kingdom.235

Concrete results of the NBN Programme include the University Broadband Network (UBN) and the Schools Broadband Network (SBN). The UBN has included the construction of a broadband network connecting all eight public universities, as well as the Jordan University of Aqaba and the Ministry of Education. The network is connected through a consolidated Internet gateway and is linked to the European educational network GEANT- Eumedconnect. The legal framework permitted the use of dark fibre cables from the National Electric Power Company (Nepco) as a backbone for this network. The universities were thus connected through fibre cables and equipment in a collaborative effort of the MoICT and Nepco. The government also signed an indefeasible right of use agreement with JUNET and Nepco.236

Meanwhile, 227 schools in Amman were connected to the Schools Broadband Network, along with 56 schools in Aqaba (under the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and 363 schools in northern Jordan. Additionally, four schools in the Al-Azraq area were also connected using wireless equipment.237

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