Discussion at "Shoman" Addresses the Plans to Compensate for Learning Loss

17-00-2021

A panel discussion organized by the Cultural Forum at the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, entitled: “Schemes for Compensating Educational Loss”, discussed yesterday evening the psychological, educational and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic upon students, and the plans of the Ministry of Education to compensate their learning loss, with a particular focus on the efficacy of these plans. During the interview, they stated: Curriculum and teacher training expert, Dr. Iman Zaitoun, pedagogical expert, Dr. Khawla Abu Al-Haija, and school leadership expert, Dr. Salah Daoud, managed by the founder of the Al-Awael educational platform Hossam Awad, until the first day of school attendance to compensate for learning loss for students, witnessed unforseen and overcrowding Expectations, forcing some schools not to receive students and send them back to their homes, pointing to the importance of good and effective planning in order to overcome such circumstances. Dr. Salah Daoud stated that the linguists indicated that the term learning loss that was put forward by the Ministry of Education should be renamed and replicated with a loss of education or what was lost from learning, noting that when he started talking about the learning loss program or poor education, two parallel programs were put forward, so that the below standard learning loss program would be an extension of the educational wastage program that was initially proposed. Its duration is approximately one month, as part of a short-term plan, then a two-year plan. He pointed out that face-to-face education in Jordan before the Covid-19 pandemic required real enhancement and cultivational programs to compensate for the learning loss that exists in terms of curricula and students’ abilities. In the respect of fresh university graduates, students who are ready to go to the field directly or do they need rehabilitation and field training programs rather than non-practical courses taught in universities. Daoud emphasized that schools, just as they are a place for academic learning, are also for managing and controlling time, communication, social learning and releasing energies from a positive side, as well as learning etiquette, values, how to solve urgent problems and critical thinking. In turn, Dr. Abu Al-Haijaa referred to the study conducted by the World Bank in 2019 before the Corona pandemic, on learning loss, which showed that 52 percent of students up to the age of ten in the Middle East and North Africa, including Jordan, are not able to read and understand a text in proportion to the their ages, spotlighting that the study was conducted on 250 primary schools in Jordan, and its results also showed that 37 percent have basic skills to succeed in the primary stage, and the remaining 63 percent are not qualified to succeed in the basic stage. Abu Al Haija reviewed the programs, plans and strategies of the Ministry of Education in developing the educational process in terms of restoring curricula, preparing training for teachers and compensating learning loss for students. Dr. Iman Zaitoun, in her speech, tackled the psychological and social loss of students as a result of moving away from schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasizing the significance of preparing effective programs and plans, such as those developed to compensate for learning loss. She foregrounded the need to rehabilitate the teachers so that they can overcome this stage as well, as they have been cut off from the educational process for a long period of time, and to provide them with the appropriate skills and instructions that help them deal with students, highlighting that rehabilitation is not only dealing with techniques, means and resources only. She explained that the role of the teacher in the modern era is no longer limited to providing students with knowledge only, but rather the teacher has become the guide, facilitator and educator above all. For his part, Awad said at the beginning of the dialogue that the Covid-19 pandemic led to the presence of about 1.6 billion students in the world out of schools, according to a study conducted by the World Bank, which also showed that closing schools carries the risk of pushing about 72 million students into learning loss. It is noteworthy that the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, The Arab Bank’s Cultural and Social Responsibility arm, is a non-profit organization that invests in knowledge, cultural and social creativity contributing to the advancement of societies in the Arab world through leadership, thought, literature, arts and innovation.