The education system, which was greatly expanded and
decentralized during the 1980s, comprises three stages.
School compulsory schooling ranges from 6 to 15 years of
age. Subsequently, continuing school (vocational school or
high school) and university. In 1992/93, more than 1 million
children attended primary school. Attendance is high, about
99% (1992), and literacy is relatively good compared to
other developing countries, 83% (1991). Despite the rapid
increase in population, teacher density has increased since
the 1970s. Alongside the state schools, there are important
social and private educational institutions, such as UNRWA,
which in 1986/87 employed 3,700 teachers and taught about
200,000 refugee children. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Jordan.
In present-day Jordan, there are five universities, two
of which are in Amman. The Yarmu University in Irbid
specializes in technology and science. In addition, four
universities (of which Bir Zayt is the best known) are
located in the former Jordanian, West Bank occupied by
Israel. However, these have been periodically shut down by
the Israeli authorities.
On November 11, 3 hotels in Amman - the Grand Hyatt, Days
Inn and Radisson SAS - were hit by terrorist bombs that cost
57 lives and sparked protest demonstrations in Amman. Most
of those killed were Jordanians, although there were also
many Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank. An
Iraqi organization led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed
responsibility for the attack on the Internet. King Abdallah
declared that Jordan would not be provoked and that Jordan
would never "give up the fight against terrorism in all its
The government posted on video a testimony from a woman
who was apparently one of the suicide terrorists and who on
the video involved Musab al-Zarqawi. Nevertheless, the
Jordanian public was deeply skeptical of the government's
claims. Discussions took place on the open streets of Amman
and many other Jordanian cities, and many Jordanians felt
that Israel was behind the attacks.
Jordan and Spain agreed in April 2006 to coordinate and
cooperate to "close the doors of intolerance and fanaticism"
of any type that are "global threats to world security" -
especially terrorism. That same month, the Jordanian
government accused Hamas, who is leading the government in
Palestine, of planning attacks against Jordan. Acc. the
government was only hindered by the arrest of a
"considerable number" of suspects. The government failed to
disclose how many. Jordan's population is predominantly of
Palestinian origin, having fled to Jordan after Israel's
ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and the June war in
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri dismissed the allegations,
stating that his party had neither armed groups in Jordan
nor any other country.
In July 2007, the Amman police detained 7 members of the
Islamic Action Front, holding 17 seats in parliament. Acc.
authorities planned the front armed actions against the
In February-April 2008, Jordan was the scene of some of
the most extensive demonstrations in the Arab world
targeting Denmark, when a number of Danish media resumed the
anti-Muslim campaign that began with the Jutland Post's
drawings in 2005.
In April 2008, a new party law came into force. Only 14
of the country's 36 political parties passed the terms of
the new law - the rest dissolved. The law required legal
parties to have a government certificate of recognition and
at least 500 members. The parties called the law
unconstitutional. The country's largest opposition party,
the Islamic Front of Action which is the political branch of
the Muslim Brotherhood, fulfilled the law.