Ammon News, Culture & Society

Queen Rania meets Jordanian academics, discuss education reforms

[2/20/2017 1:30:43 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, on Monday, met with a group of prominent educators and academics to discuss efforts towards achieving comprehensive educational reform in Jordan. The Queen underlined the National Strategy for Human Resources Development, which was launched in September of last year, as the all-encompassing framework for education reform. The strategy’s recommendations articulate an extensive ten-year plan for teacher training, curriculum development, early child development, and the integration of technology into classrooms with the aim of improving the overall educational environment in Jordan. Her Majesty also stressed that curriculum development should focus on improving the way students learn as a top priority. Queen Rania said that about two decades ago, Jordan was a renowned regional pioneer in education, before it witnessed a decline in its standing. "But maybe we should ask ourselves why our performance has deteriorated," she added. There are several interconnected reasons for this decline according to the Queen, such as the rapid increase in the size of Jordan’s population, the pressures on its infrastructure caused by refugees, as well as regional turmoil. But the Queen insisted that the most important thing to remember is that criteria for success have drastically changed in recent years. "What used to work ten years ago doesn’t work now. The skills that enable people to succeed today are not the same set of skills that enabled them to succeed ten or fifteen years ago. That’s why keeping pace with change is imperative." In doing so, curriculum development should be an annual process, Queen Rania argued. The Queen explained that Jordanians have always been prolific and resourceful in maximizing outcomes with what little they have, compared to other countries that are better equipped. "So much of Jordan’s talent and expertise is not benefiting Jordan. This means we have to improve our education environment in order to attract the best talents for our students. And we want the best for our students." The discussion also recognized the dire need to expand training opportunities for teachers before they start their careers and while they are teaching as central to keeping pace with advancing teaching methods. The importance of improving "Tawjihi" examinations to account for students’ analytical and critical thinking skills acquired over twelve years of schooling, instead of accounting for their memorization skills, was another main point of discussion. Some of the educators present recognized the challenges posed by the system’s reliance on memorization as a primary learning method even when it comes to subjects like mathematics, where analytical skills are required.

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Queen visits Hashimiyat Al Zarqa to support local community development programs

[1/23/2017 10:27:41 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah visited Hashimayat Al Zarqa district in the Governorate of Al Zarqa on Monday to check on the progress of a number of small income-generating projects funded by an initiative to improve the living conditions of needy families. The visit follows a financial grant scheme issued by the Royal Hashemite Court (RHC) and implemented by the Community Center Association (CCA) in coordination with 23 societies, working with the Ministry of Social Development and local administrative authorities. The grant carries out development projects that cater to 286 families in the governorates of Al Zarqa and Al Mafraq, with the CCA providing guidance to the beneficiaries on how to create their own income-generating projects. Founder of the CCA Dr. Sari Nasser, and its President Dr. Firyal Saleh joined Her Majesty while she toured Al Hashimiyah Women Society for Social Development with its President Ms. Fatmeh Al Jamal. Established in 2010, the women’s society provides services to women, underprivileged families, students, orphans, and disabled people. Queen Rania also dropped by a business workshop conducted by the youth development and nonprofit organization Injaz on how to convert a business idea into an actual project, as well as a child health awareness session for women, and three classes for children with disabilities. The Queen also visited local resident Mr. Hussein Al Hindawi’s thriving kiosk, which he was able to set up through a grant from the RHC. The small business has been helping Mr. Hindawi, who is blind, make a living to support his family. Her Majesty then attended a meeting with fifty community leaders representing the heads of societies currently managing the funds and providing guidance to its beneficiaries. The meeting, which was moderated by Dr. Saleh, included testimonials from beneficiaries highlighting the impact the projects have had on their living conditions. Addressing the audience, Her Majesty said she was thrilled to see their hard work and determination materialize into constructive projects despite the difficult economic conditions Jordanians are reeling under. The Queen commended their creative projects and thanked the CCA for its efforts in building strong partnerships with local charities that have ensured the success of the projects. Before ending her visit to Zarqa, Queen Rania visited the female-headed household of Mrs. Rana Al Jamal, who has successfully launched a home business to support her four children.

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Children under 5 are most likely victims of traffic accidents

[1/22/2017 3:24:00 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Children under the age of five are the most likely to be killed in road accidents in Jordan, according to recent statistics. The Central Traffic Department’s (CTD) 2015 study of road accidents showed that children under five years old recorded the highest rate of deaths among pedestrians, with 34.17 per cent. Around 17.59 per cent were between the ages of three and five, while 16.58 per cent were under the age of three. According to initial records from 2016, 67 pedestrian children aged five and younger were killed after being hit by vehicles, three more deaths than in 2015. Lt. Col. Yaser Habahbeh, the director of the CTD’s traffic accidents investigation department, said such fatal accidents often occur while the child is crossing main or subsidiary roads, in residential areas while skating or riding bicycles, and also in home garages. “In many cases the father, brother or uncle does not pay attention to the child playing behind or under the car, and they run them over in the garage,” Habahbeh told The Jordan Times on Sunday. He said the family’s role is crucial for road safety in the early years, as parents are responsible for teaching their children how to deal with roads. Parents should not allow their children to play in streets, but instead in playgrounds, and should teach them to walk on the pavement, or to walk against the traffic if there are no pavements, Habahbeh encouraged. He also advised that children should wear reflective colours at night because motorists may not be able to see pedestrians wearing dark clothes. Nizar Al Abedi, president of the Jordanian Society for the Prevention of Road Accidents (JSPRA), cited parental neglect and lack of awareness as the main causes of the problem, explaining that pre-schoolers are not included in any kind of Public Security Department awareness campaign. Abedi said that many pavements are not suitable for pedestrians because they have many trees and obstacles, so people have no choice other than to walk on the road. The JSPRA president said he considers the media, government, NGOs and every member of society responsible for raising and spreading road safety awareness. He claimed that even awareness campaigns in schools are not at acceptable rates, because advice or lectures are not enough to create awareness among a generation. “Even in schools, some lectures about traffic and road accidents are not enough. Traffic education should be part of the curricula, at least part of the activities in class — 15 minutes a week,” he urged. *Jordan Times

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Queen Rania meets with women from Sayyidat Nashmiyyat group

[1/11/2017 3:26:28 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah met with women from the ‘Sayyidat Nashmiyyat’ group on Wednesday to highlight the active role of online platforms in pushing communities towards positive change, and creating better informed and socially engaged societies. Established in 2015, ‘Sayyidat Nashmiyyat’ is a Facebook group that includes more than 40,000 active members, who engage online with a variety of topics including education, women’s issues, childcare, health, and community empowerment. During the meeting, which was held at Kan Zaman Restaurant in Amman, Her Majesty learned about the group’s activities and heard from its Founder, Ms. Enas Shahin, about the group’s ongoing vision and strategies. Shahin noted that the organization has been working to engage Jordanian women in social media, and teach them to use online platforms in a positive manner that can drive change within their communities. Addressing the group’s members, Queen Rania said she was proud to learn about the group’s active role in promoting responsible social media engagement, and providing a narrative to counter negative ideas that have become widespread on social media platforms. Her Majesty thanked the women for their role in creating an ongoing discussion about education on social media, highlighting the need to ensure that quality education becomes a national priority so that Jordan can reclaim its reputation for excellence in education. Queen Rania added that this begins with training and equipping teachers with modern teaching skills, and developing better curricula to improve students’ understanding. Shahin described ‘Sayyidat Nashmiyyat’ as a women’s forum that aims to raise women’s awareness about the power of their online role in addressing Jordan’s ongoing challenges. The group’s efforts have so far been successful in fighting racism and the incitement of violence, while promoting an inclusive society through respect for all regardless of differences in faith, political views, and ethnicity. The meeting included remarks by several women, who shared their experiences since joining the group, and briefed Her Majesty on an online survey they conducted to examine the role that teachers, curricula, and school environment have on education outcomes.

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Chaba : Jordan has the biggest benefit of the Hungarian grants program

[1/11/2017 12:27:25 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Hungarian ambassador , Mr. Chaba Tsebeera in Jordan met dr. Adel al Towayssi , the Ministers of education, who proposed him an invention of scholarship from the Hungarian government to the next year. Chaba said that Jordan has the biggest benefit of scholarships program during 400 scholarships every year. The student can apply an application electronically on the internet from the mid of January, 2017 to March,5,2017 for the studies programs of PhD , B.A and M.A in English. For more details visit The Hungarian ambassador thanks the Jordanian ambassador for the cooperation and the role of the embassy of choosing and nominating the students of the scholarships as well as facilitating to hold the acceptance examination in Jordan. He confirmed that Hungary works with more than 50 countries in scholarships to specifying 4000 seats for the next year. The program gives the tuition fees for free health insurance in addition to a pocket money for dwelling and sustenance . Hundreds of the Jordanian students in Hungary now do well in this program as they enjoy residing in the Hungarian universities of cities. Hungary calls more students to join them.

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‘H3N2 most common flu among Jordanians this cold season’

[1/7/2017 3:59:54 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Influenza H3N2, a virus subtype, is the most common type of flu among Jordanians this winter, a Health Ministry official said on Saturday. As is the case with H1N1 and B influenza viruses, those diagnosed with H3N2 suffer from typical flu symptoms, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimating that 15 to 25 per cent of those infected with seasonal flu suffer from the H3N2 flu type. “Unlike what some news websites have reported, H3N2 is not a new virus, and the deaths caused by the disease aren’t any higher than those caused by the seasonal flu,” Mohammad Abdallat, director of the ministry’s department of communicable diseases control, told The Jordan Times. He added that, like other influenzas, the disease only becomes dangerous among high-risk groups such as infants, the elderly, and people with respiratory problems. “All the necessary medications are available at the Health Ministry and its departments across Jordan,” Abdallat said. All 2015-2016 influenza vaccines protect against H1N1, H3N2 and B viruses, according to WHO Influenza is a viral infection that mainly affects the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. Infection usually lasts for around a week, and is characterised by the sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headaches and severe malaise, a non-productive cough, sore throat and rhinitis, according to the WHO website. The virus is transmitted easily from person to person via droplets and small particles produced when infected people cough or sneeze. Influenza tends to rapidly spread in seasonal epidemics. *Jordan Times

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'400 guest workers deported in first 11 months of 2016 for health reasons'

[1/4/2017 2:34:10 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A total of 400 guest workers were referred from the Health Ministry to the Interior Ministry for deportation over the first 11 months of 2016 for health related issues, an official said Tuesday. Ibrahim Badwan, the director of the Health Ministry’s pulmonary diseases and guest workers directorate, said 185 cases of hepatitis B, 149 cases of tuberculosis and 66 cases of HIV/AIDS were detected among guest workers who underwent medical examination from January until the end of November last year. During the first 10 months of 2016, 356,045 guest workers visited the directorate for medical check-ups. A total of 457 of them were diagnosed with hepatitis B, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, according to official figures released by the directorate. Commenting on the numbers, Badwan said all guest workers with HIV/AIDS are deported, but those with hepatitis and tuberculosis can be treated in Jordan, especially Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni workers who are residing in the country. Meanwhile, he noted that around 30 per cent of the world’s population has inactive tuberculosis, adding that the disease is reactivated among 10 per cent of humans who may have previously been declared tuberculosis-free. Guest workers with pulmonary tuberculosis are deported, but those with extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, which does not affect the pulmonary system, are not deported, Badwan said. That explains why some guest workers are not diagnosed with the disease in the first medical check-up they undergo upon their arrival to the Kingdom, he noted. While guest workers undergo a medical check-up when they first come to the country, they have to redo the medical tests every year and every time they re-enter the Kingdom. Badwan added that Health Minister Mahmoud Sheyyab has recently formed a committee from the public and private sectors to review medical tests for guest workers. The committee, he noted, has added tests for hepatitis C and leprosy for workers coming from countries where such diseases have been recorded. In addition, guest workers are to undergo a general test that checks for diabetes and heart performance. In a bid to expand services and reduce work pressure on the directorate’s centre in Gardens area in Amman, the ministry has recently opened new centres in the capital’s Sweileh, Jabal Luweibdeh and Jabal Al Nasser neighbourhoods. *Jordan Times

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