Ammon News, Culture & Society

Labor minister, ILO regional coordinator discuss future plans

[7/13/2019 8:05:48 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Labor, Nidal Bataineh, discussed Saturday with the International Labor Organization (ILO) project coordinator in Jordan, Patrick Darrow, the ministry's future plans. During the meeting, Bataineh said the ministry is in the process of implementing short, medium and long term plans to regulate the Jordanian labor market and is exerting intensive efforts to control the expatriate workers through a number of procedures, in a bid to revise the recruitment regulations and increase field inspections. On the vocational training (VT) development, Bataineh highlighted the ministry's plan to review the Kingdom's VT system and the steps taken to this end, through a comprehensive review of the training plans according to a new strategy based on market needs, which suffers from a craft-driven shortage. The minister reviewed the mechanisms of developing the "National Service Program," adding it will witness "fundamental changes" to link its outcomes with the labor market's needs, in coordination with the private sector. With worker training and social protection guaranteed, the minister underlined the importance of the agricultural sector and ways to support it with national workforce. Bataineh commended the ILO's efforts in supporting and implementing many programs and projects in Jordan, calling on Darrow to review various current and future projects in line with the ministry's future plans.

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Jordanian population grew to 10.309 million until the end of 2018

[7/10/2019 11:11:32 AM]

AMMONNEWS - According to a study released by the Department of Statistics on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, the population of Jordan rose from about 586,000 people in 1952 to 10.309 million until the end of 2018. According to a report published on the United Nation's official website, the world's population is currently estimated at 7.7 billion people and is expected to reach 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100 based on the population prospects, which assume lower birth rates in countries with large families. China and India rank first and second in terms of population, respectively, with more than 35% of the world population live in those countries. However, Jordan ranks 91th among the world's most populous countries. Jordan witnessed sharp demographic transitions during the second half of the last century that affected the age structure of the population, the study released by the Statistics Department indicated. Jordan's population rose from 586,000 in 1952 to 10.309 million until the end of 2018. The population growth rate in Jordan declined significantly during the 1990s and the early years of the new millennium. The study showed that the population growth rate dropped from 4.4% during 1979-1994, to 2.6% during 1994-2004. However, during 2004-2015, the rate increased to 5.3% due to the political situation witnessed in the region, which caused hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to enter Jordan since 2011. Jordan has achieved a remarkable improvement in the health sector during the last decades of the last century and the current decade of the new millennium, resulting in a reduction in death rates, which lead to a substantial increase in life expectancy to 73.3 years for both sexes in 2018. The results of the last population census showed that the proportion of young people (less than 15 years) accounted for 34.3% of the total population in the Kingdom, while the proportion of those aged 15-64 years accounted for 62%. However, the percentage of elderly people (over 65 years of age) reached 3.7%. The results also revealed that the dependency ratio (population not in the work-force) was 61.4 in 2018. During 1952-2018, the crude death rate decreased from 22% in 1952 to 6.0% in 2018 with a percentage of 72%. The infant mortality rate dropped from its high levels during the same time period from about 122 per every 1,000 in 1952 to 17 in 2018. Total birth rates have also dropped, as a result of social and economic changes. One of the major social factors that caused this decline is that most females seek education nowadays, which causes a delay in marriage. The economic factors also played a role in this decline, especially through the increase in the proportion of females in the labor force, where it reached 15.4% in 2018. On the other hand, the education sector in Jordan has achieved great progress, with illiteracy rates dropping from 16.7% in 1991 to 5.1% in 2018. school enrollment has also increased to 96.7% for the academic year 2017/2018.

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Gov't forms committee to launch financing program for youth

[6/29/2019 6:22:20 PM]

AMMONNEWS - In response to Royal directions to the Government to develop a comprehensive financing program to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for young people through local banks, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz decided to form a steering committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Rajai Muasher to start practical actions for implementation. During the preparation phase to launch the program, the committee will include Ministers of Industry, Trade and Supply, Youth, Planning and International Cooperation, Labour, the Governor of the Central Bank (CB), the Director General of the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC), the CEO of the Business Development Center (BDC) and the Director General of Association of Banks in Jordan (ABJ). The committee will develop a regulatory framework that sets out the basis for the partnership with local banks wishing to participate in this funding program, target groups, the qualification process for applicants in terms of training, the mechanism for applying for funding and eligibility criteria. The committee will also prepare and implement awareness campaigns to introduce the self-employment financing program to encourage the target groups of young people to benefit from the training and funding opportunities that will enable them to implement productive and sustainable projects. Last week at a meeting with a group of young entrepreneurs, attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, His Majesty King Abdullah directed the government to develop a new comprehensive financing program, along clear and transparent criteria, that includes funding, training and technical support to enable youth to start small- and medium-sized projects, creating jobs and sources of income.

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There is no room to cast doubts on Tawjihi exams, says education minister

[6/29/2019 7:04:46 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Education, Walid Ma'ani, said the General Secondary Education Certificate Examinations (Tawjihi) is "protected," and there is no question on it, or of the measures taken by the ministry in this regard. Ma'ani made the remarks as he attended the unsealing of exam envelopes of the Arabic language exam in Al-Zahraa Comprehensive Secondary School for Girls, which is part of the Wadi Al-Sir Education Directorate, adding today's exam was "entirely different" from the fake paper circulated on social platforms, a step aimed to distract the ministry and the students. The minister toured the school's examination rooms and was assured of the sound procedures taken to provide the appropriate exam environment for students. During the inspection tour, the minister highlighted the ministry's strict measures aimed to maintain Tawjhi's confidentiality and reputation, underlining its accumulated expertise in this area. The exam's current session, which will end on Monday, went "calmly and in an orderly manner," coupled with the students' full commitment to the relevant instructions, Ma'ani pointed out.

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Queen Rania Meets with Youth During Visit to Kawon Bookshop in Madaba

[6/23/2019 6:34:16 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah joined a group of young men and women at Kawon Bookshop in Madaba on Sunday, a creative space known for promoting a culture of reading and encouraging youth innovation. Her Majesty was welcomed by Kawon co-founders, Ghaith Bahdousheh and Qais Maayeh, who explained how their affinity for reading inspired them to establish the bookshop as a cultural destination for young people, tourists, and readers of all ages. Aiming to create job and volunteer opportunities for members of the community, Kawon provides employment for local retirees through its café and recently opened social kitchen, serving homemade baked goods and locally sourced teas. Following a tour of the bookshop, Her Majesty joined CEO of Madaba Foundation for Development and Training, Ayesha Hawatmeh, for a meeting with a number of local youth active in the fields of entrepreneurship, volunteerism, and social work. Madaba Foundation for Development and Training is a nonprofit association with a focus on economic empowerment and education. Operating primarily in the areas of Thiban and Bani Hamida, the association offers self-learning and development opportunities to the governorate’s youth. During the meeting, the young men and women presented their contributions to their local communities in various fields. They also shared their aspirations to launch their own projects promoting education, tourism, and constructive dialogues across the governorate. The Office of Her Majesty will support a number of youth-focused projects in Madaba, aiming to enhance young men and women’s employability and cultural awareness. These projects include the establishment of a new stand-alone learning hub by Kawon, which will be the first such space to host activities related to culture, art, and music for Madaba’s children and youth. The Office will also support the refurbishment of the bookshop’s existing study space, providing it with laptops and other necessary equipment. Furthermore, in coordination with Madaba Foundation for Development and Training, the Office of Her Majesty will fund several small income-generating projects by young entrepreneurs. It will also work with the association to provide a number of youth in Madaba with access to English-language and soft skills courses, in an effort to help them secure employment. Additionally, the Office of Her Majesty will extend its support to the Shabab 24 initiative, funding initiatives by its members, and to Methrah for Arts and Culture, a nonprofit association that aims to enrich Madaba’s cultural scene through music and art activities.

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7 thousand Syrian students enrolled in Jordanian universities, says AAU director

[6/23/2019 9:13:55 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities (AAU), Dr. Amr Salama, estimated the number of Syrian students enrolled in Jordan's higher education institutions at about 7,000 students in different degree for the academic year 2018-2019. In a press statement released on Sunday, Salama said the AAU has implemented a special project to support the education of Syrian refugee students in Lebanon, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Jordan, funded by the European Commission in cooperation with Turkey, Germany and the UNIMED, the Mediterranean Universities Union. The project, which is being implemented in cooperation with the Erasmus Plus National Office, aims to assist the universities of the partner countries to receive Syrian students and to obtain seats in different academic disciplines through the establishment of specialized units to support and employ Syrian students, he pointed out. These units seek to provide services to support Syrian refugee students in resuming their academic and vocational careers, he elaborated. On achievement so far, Salama announced the AAU has made great efforts to implement this project to provide assistance to Syrian students, especially those who stopped pursuing degrees in Syrian universities, or were unable to complete their studies at their own expense because of the refugee conditions. In addition to grants, the project provides training courses for Syrian students in the professional, technical, technical fields, as well as organizing activities such as scientific and recreational trips to tourist and archaeological sites in the countries covered by the project. He noted the AAU is in constant contact with universities hosting Syrian refugees in order to follow up on their academic conditions. As for the Jordanian universities hosting Syrian students, who received the project grants, he said stressed they are mainly concentrated in Yarmouk University, Zarqa University, and Al-Zaytoonah University, which have opened specialized units for Syrian students to provide a suitable environment for teaching, learning, scientific research.

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King meets political media figures, says Jordan strong, capable of overcoming challenges

[6/11/2019 4:45:34 PM]

AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday said Jordan is strong and capable of overcoming challenges, voicing confidence in Jordanians’ morale, their sense of responsibility, and their ability to build on achievements. During a meeting with political and media figures at Al Husseiniya Palace attended by His Roya Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, King Abdullah said the more Jordanians unify their efforts, the more they will be able to overcome challenges, stressing that the nation’s interest is above all else. His Majesty added that all share the responsibility to counter negativity and prevent it from undermining public trust in state institutions and in Jordan’s achievements. The King said improving citizens’ economic and living conditions, combating unemployment, attracting investments, and empowering youth are all top priorities, stressing the important role of young people in Jordan’s progress and development. His Majesty noted ongoing directives to the government and state institutions to work towards improving economic conditions, reiterating that improving Jordanians’ economic conditions is a key priority. The King highlighted some improvement in a number of economic sectors and expressed Jordan’s keenness to diversify and solidify economic cooperation with various countries. Noting increasing economic cooperation with Iraq and Egypt as well as with Cyprus and Greece, His Majesty said these developments will have a positive impact on all. Also at the meeting, which is part of ongoing outreach to various sectors to exchange ideas and highlight domestic and regional developments, the King said combating corruption will continue, adding that there has also been a campaign over the past two years by people with their own agendas to question Jordan’s capabilities and institutions. His Majesty spoke about Jordan’s participation in the recent Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit and the emergency Arab Summit in Mecca, where the Kingdom reaffirmed its steadfast positions on Arab causes, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause. The King underscored Jordan’s unwavering position on the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem, as well as its support for the Palestinian people in their pursuit of their just and legitimate rights, noting the Kingdom’s coordination with the Palestinian side and with various international parties. Jordan will persist in undertaking its religious and historical role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in line with the Hashemite Custodianship, His Majesty said. For their part, the attendees commended Jordan’s achievements under the King’s leadership over the past 20 years, expressing their best wishes on the occasions of Accession to the Throne Day, the Great Arab Revolt anniversary, and Army Day. All Jordanians are aware of the enormity of the challenges ahead, and they stand behind His Majesty’s leadership in overcoming them and countering all those who doubt the nation and its institutions, they added. The political and media figures said Jordan stands out in its honourable positions towards Arab causes, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause, praising the King’s positions in defending the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem, and in supporting the Palestinian people in seeking their legitimate rights. They stressed the importance of having platform-based parties, calling for empowering parliamentary blocs and noting that His Majesty’s discussion papers offer a roadmap and a reference for political reform. Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi and Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Khasawneh attended the meeting.

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