The Government of Jordan has worked hard to increase access to education and has achieved nearly universal primary enrollment. But an influx of refugees, a quickly growing population, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to mounting stress on the country’s schools and teachers. Although access to education is high, learning outcomes remain disappointing: By third grade, only around one third of students in Jordanian schools are able to read at grade level.
Launched in 2015 with support from USAID and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Initiative (RAMP) launched nationwide after a successful pilot intervention that supported teachers to provide deliberate, structured, and developmentally appropriate daily instruction to improve students’ foundational skills for reading and mathematics.
The core approach of RAMP is to strengthens Jordan’s Ministry of Education (MOE) and works through it to deliver instructional reform and improve student outcomes in ways that can be scaled and institutionalized.
To date, RAMP has changed the learning trajectories of thousands of children, including refugees and children living with disabilities, by making high-quality learning materials and instruction available—even as the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person education impossible.
For example, between 2015 and 2019, the proportion of grade 3 students who can do grade-level math with understanding increased from 20% to 29%, while students who can read and understand grade-level text increased from 29% to 33%.
The gains in grade 2 were even higher: the proportion of students who meet benchmarks for reading and understanding grade-level text almost doubled (from 8% to 14%) between 2015 and 2019.
In addition, in 2021, there was a significant reduction in the literacy ‘zero scores’ for Grade 2 and Grade 3 students compared to 2019, despite the school closure of more than one year caused by COVID-19. These positive results in 2021 suggest that RAMP and Ministry of Education strategies to target low-performing students with additional support are succeeding.