As part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan direction to improve the educational system to cope with the many challenges the country is facing, a broad National Human Resources Development Strategy (NHRDS) was adopted for the years 2016 – 2025. This strategy supports a five-year national Education Sector Plan (NESP) which includes an Education Reform Support Program-for-Results supported (PforR) by the World Bank.
Result Area 2 of the PforR aims to achieve improved teaching and learning conditions. As part of its components, component 3 objective is to improve school climate though the development of a Socioemotional Learning (SEL) program. ASK for Human Capacity Building (ASK) was awarded the project “Conducting a Needs Assessment for Socioemotional Learning Program” with the final objective of providing detailed recommendations on the areas of existing gaps and needs.
The project consisted of the following components:
- Mapping existing programs implemented by the MOE, or other entities, which promote socioemotional skills
- School Level Administrative Data
- Administrating School Climate Survey
- Students Skills Assessment.
As part of the implementation of this project, 140 focus groups were organized, and related meetings were facilitated in 35 randomly selected schools. In Addition, more than 13,000 surveys were conducted in 304 schools distributed on the 42 directorates across the Kingdom. The project design and implementation tackled the mandate of this project “assessment of socioemotional skills” on three areas. The first area is assessing Students’ Socioemotional Skills to establish a baseline for the existing level of skills. The 2nd area was to use a list of quantitative indicators (supplemented with focus groups) to monitor the socioemotional and behavioral status at the school level. The third area, the “school climate assessment” which covers School Safety, Relationships, Teaching & Learning and Institutional Environment “physical surroundings” which provide the context for the existing learning climate in our schools.
The analysis revealed that the level of socioemotional skills in our schools requires immediate attention to improve the related current level of skills and competencies. The results of the indicators and the focus groups confirmed the existence of negative behaviors, social and emotional challenges among school students and staff.
Public school climate status as confirmed by the assessment, clearly shows an immediate need to improve the institutional environment and school safety dimensions of our schools. There was a strong consensus among the surveys target groups on the many challenges and weaknesses that our schools have in their existing infrastructures.