QRF refers to a twofold definition of equity:
- Equity of access - fair access to education - where everyone has an equal chance to achieve their ‘educational potential’ regardless of their background e.g. gender, socioeconomic background, disabilities etc. and
- Equity of learning - where the school system ensures inclusion of all students to achieve a basic minimum standard of education i.e. everyone should be able to read, write and do simple arithmetic.
With regard to equity of access, Jordan boasts high levels of basic school enrolment at 98% as of 2015 according to the Ministry of Education. Nonetheless, there is still an unfinished access agenda in Jordan, with many primary and secondary age children still out of school, and others of this age enrolled in school but absent a lot. With regard to equity of learning, in recent years there have been growing concerns about the learning outcomes achieved by students at all levels as revealed through the Early Grade Reading and Math Assessments (EGRA and EGMA) as well as the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA).
Similarly the distribution of learning achievements in the Kingdom varies; for example, urban schools outperforming rural schools, schools in some governorates doing better than others, and girls, overall, outperforming boys.
QRF is keen to identify and learn from good practice approaches used in Jordan and elsewhere that can help to identify and support vulnerable and under-achieving children and adolescents, and prevent and reduce the numbers of children and adolescents who are either out of school or frequently absent.
Linked to QRF’s other research themes, we have a particular interest in understanding the role of early childhood education in equity, the role of teachers in addressing social inequality in schools, and the use of digital technology in addressing equity.
As an initial step, QRF has conducted equity mapping of efforts in education to help us prioritize.