Culture, Education, Science and Information


First: Culture

In its intellectual, artistic and creative aspects, Arab and Islamic culture is the fountainhead of Jordanian national culture through which the quality of Jordanian life is enhanced. It is a symbol of the Arab nation’s sturdiness, the source of its material and moral strength. and the epitome of its unity and steadfastness in the face of foreign cultural incursions. Jordanian culture is also part of the aspirations, issues and challenges of contemporary Arab culture.

This predicates the following:

1. The Arab language is the nation’s tongue and its means of expressing its cultural identity. It is the repository of the nation’s thought, learning and values, and the vehicle of knowledge transfer. It must be preserved and developed. Translation from and into Arabic must be activated. Scientific and academic institutions must be urged to participate in the process of Arabisation and publication in Arabic in all literary and technical fields.
2. Care must be extended to preserving, expounding and documenting the nation’s heritage through sound scientific methods. It must be published and disseminated within the means available, and in cooperation with Arab, Islamic and international organisations concerned with the nation’s heritage and contemporary culture.
3. Pride in Arab and Islamic history must be strengthened, recalling the positive contribution of the Arab nation at the global level. Jordan’s history must be documented, its archaeology preserved and its facts studied, taught and expounded. The role of the national will of the Jordanian people in shaping its present and its future must be highlighted.
4. Attention must be paid to enhancing the cultural attainments of Jordanian citizens in all regions of the Kingdom through promoting and developing national culture by all available means, enabling meaningful participation in the process of comprehensive cultural growth.
5. Due care must be extended to the instruments of disseminating national culture, including libraries, data bases, theatres, exhibitions and museums, projecting the cultural achievements of the Jordanian people.
6. Care must be extended to all forms of Jordanian folklore, as they constitute a creative and enriching part of national culture. They must be brought abreast of the modern age in a manner that would serve to integrate the nation’s cultural fabric.
7. The right of Jordanian thinkers, men of letters, artists and poets to ready access to various cultures must be ensured as a means of enriching and invigorating the national culture—without detriment to Arab and Islamic values.
8. Copyright must be respected. Legislation protecting copyright and patents must be updated.

Second: Education

Jordanian education is an evolving and integrated system. Its philosophical underpinning is expressive of the nation’s thought and values. It is based on the enduring tenets of the Islamic faith, the supreme values of the Arab nation and the Jordanian national experience.

From this grows the following:

1. The educational policy in Jordan must ensure an integrated spiritual, physical, psychological, mental and social growth of an individual who is aware of his rights, cognisant of his obligations, committed to his country, proud of his nation, imbued with the scientific spirit and democratic values, believing in human rights and in the principles of justice, goodness and equality, and capable of being usefully productive and creatively enterprising.
2. Education of the young must be based on faith in God, in the authentic character of the Arab nation and in its amenability to renewal and creativity in all walks of life.
3. The educational system must endeavour to promote independent and creative thinking through activating incentives for work, seriousness of purpose, precision and distinction as well as through directing education towards equipping the individual for the future. To achieve this, attention must be paid to the upgrading of intellectual processes and psychological stamina to meet future challenges and dangers. Sound methodologies of scientific and critical thought must be developed by upgrading the skills of extrapolation, deduction, comprehension and rational interaction with knowledge.
4. The educational system must be linked with the requirements of production. The educational process must produce the qualified manpower that the country needs now and in the future.
5. The educational system must be both comprehensive and flexible. It must make special provisions for the gifted, who must be given opportunities commensurate with their capabilities and aptitudes to ensure that society reaps the benefit of their potential contribution. Similarly, care must be extended to educating the handicapped, integrating them into the system at an early age and providing them with productive skills.
6. Arabic must be the language of instruction at all levels and in all fields. To this end, methods of teaching Arabic must be developed, as must the approach of teaching it to speakers of other languages. Also, the learning of other living languages must be stressed to enable the youth to familiarise themselves with literary, scientific and other output in those languages and to maintain contact with other peoples.
7. The teaching profession must be accorded the attention it deserves in order for it to occupy a suitable place among the other professions. Teachers should receive proper training. They must be given the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. Their educational attainments and standard of living must be improved.

Third : Science and Technology

Science and technology have a central role in the development of society, as well as in solving social and economic problems, strengthening Jordanian and Arab security, enabling society to deal with changing conditions and contributing to world civilisation.

There are several requisites for an effective contribution by science and technology:

1. A clear political decision and national will must exist to acquire, transfer, develop and utilise technology to meet the country’s needs on the basis of careful planning which relies on indigenous institutions and on an advanced system of education.
2. The scientific method must govern the people’s way of thinking. It must be utilised for solving problems and enhancing the ability of Jordanian society to transform raw data into a system of knowledge which can be applied in various fields. National data banks must be established for this purpose.
3. Special emphasis must be placed on the teaching of science and mathematics, with due attention to their application, at all levels and in all types of educational institutions.
4. Society as a whole must acquire the culture of science and technology in order to be able to interact in an effective and rational manner with advanced technological processes.
5. A climate of academic freedom must be provided, together with the resources for advanced scientific research. Also, research must be geared towards meeting the developmental needs of Jordan in all areas. Arabic must be the medium of research and development activities as well as a vehicle for innovation and publication.
6. Jordan’s natural resources must be developed, whilst guarding against the negative effects of technology, preserving the ecological balance and protecting the living environment from pollution.

Fourth: Information and Communications

Rapidly accelerating advances in science and technology, coupled with the effects of the communications revolution, have given communications and the mass media a principal role in shaping knowledge, convictions and attitudes. The mass media also play an important role in strengthening the democratic process.

The following are requisites in this field:

1. Jordan’s information philosophy must be based on the principles of freedom, national responsibility, respect for the truth and regard for the values of the Arab and Islamic nation.
2. Freedom of thought and expression, and access to information, must be viewed as a right of every citizen, as well as of the press and other mass media. It is a right enshrined in the Constitution and should under no circumstances be abridged or violated.
3. Official and popular institutions must contribute to the training of personnel in the information field with a view to enabling them to perform their tasks objectively and impartially.
4. Citizens must have access to facts and information from legitimate transmission and publication sources within Jordan and abroad. Censorship of classified material should not prevent the citizens from exercising this right.
5. Jordanian citizens and political groups must have the right to use the national mass media to state their opinions and give expression to their cultural, intellectual, technical and scientific creativity. The state must draw up policies to ensure the exercise of this right.
6. Information and communications media must serve as channels of conveying the country’s image, culture and achievements to the world, and as a means of transferring new knowledge and cultural and scientific advances to the citizens. This requires an enhancement of national capabilities and recourse to expert services.
7. Information media must have a formative role in shaping citizen attitudes of commitment to their country and nation and pride in their Arab and Islamic heritage. This function must be exercised in a manner that would integrate the roles of the family, schools and places of worship in developing citizens’ awareness, knowledge and attitudes and would contribute to preserving social harmony and national unity while countering the harmful effects of hostile propaganda.
8. All information media must strive to provide a climate of freedom conducive to the growth of Jordanian society through enlightened knowledge and honest reporting. They must shun any encroachment on the freedom of individuals or their personal lives.
9. General policies of the information media in Jordan must strengthen respect for the human mind and intelligence and for the individual’s right to freedom of expression. They must provide an appropriate climate to encourage creativity and innovation.
10 The state must guarantee the right and freedom of Jordanian individuals, groups and institutions to own and publish newspapers in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Legislation must be enacted to regulate the financing of newspapers with the aim of protecting them from external influence.
11. The circulation of news and data must be regarded as an indivisible part of the freedom of the press and information. The state must guarantee free access to information to the extent that it does not jeopardise national security or the national interest. It must enact legislation to protect journalists and other information personnel in the fulfilment of their duties and to provide them with material and psychological security.
12. The mass media must be committed to the service of the country as a whole. They must not be used to propagate the particular philosophy of any political party or group or to give publicity to the work of individuals in any government in power. Citizens must be given the opportunity to participate in drawing up mass-media policies through special boards to be established for this purpose.