Launching the Early Grade Education Activity (ASAS) Program: A Collaborative Project from IREX and DG

July 9, 2024 Education
DG Comms, Cecelia Yost, Khyatee Tewari
IREX, Launch, Program

IREX and Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG) are pleased to announce their collaborative work on the USAID-funded Early Grade Education Activity (ASAS) program. The ASAS program, which launched in August 2023 and will run through July 2028, empowers stakeholders within Jordan’s Ministry of Education (MoE) and throughout the country to deliver inclusive and holistic early-grade (EG) education. The project is designed to improve numeracy and literacy skills for Jordanian students from kindergarten to grade three. 

Throughout the program’s implementation, IREX, which is spearheading the project, will improve early grade preservice education and in-service professional development for teachers, while DG will provide technical expertise and in-country field assistance to improve several education data systems. The program will facilitate improved access to timely, relevant, and high-quality data to inform strategic and meaningful education policies, practices, and reforms. This data is critical for EG education planning and will be used to evaluate core areas like school performance, student learning, teacher distribution, resource allocation, and training initiatives. It will also allow decision-makers to plan effective and practical interventions that will support student learning and development across Jordan, especially for underserved areas. Overall, the program will strengthen Jordan’s EG education data ecosystem and improve outcomes for public school students and teachers across the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Other partners supporting the ASAS program include School-to-School International, Queen Rania Teacher Academy, the International Rescue Committee, and the Change Agent for Arab Development and Education Reform.

It is the education system in Jordan that needs to change to adapt to the child, not the other way around. If we do not get education right, we will not get anything right.

Prince Mired bin Ra'ad bin Zeid Al-Hussein (H.R.H Prince Mired) President of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD)

Increasing educational data system effectiveness

The ASAS program is necessary for enhancing how education sector data is used and improving interoperability between data and digital tools. Having accurate and easier-to-use data empowers stakeholders to advance data-driven practices that meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers. 

Stakeholders working in technical and coordination capacities within the MoE encounter frequent challenges relating to data access, quality, and scalability. Currently, the MoE uses three major education data systems to collect data on learning outcomes: school attendance, classroom assessments, and e-training for teachers and administrators. Making these three essential education data systems compatible with each other will address persistent problems related to data governance, sharing, management, and analysis. Addressing these issues will ultimately improve stakeholder coordination, prevent duplication in effort and other redundancies, and facilitate data-supported decision-making across the whole of the education sector.

ASAS moving forward

In the initial stage of the ASAS program, DG worked closely with stakeholders in Amman, Jordan to conduct a data landscape assessment of the existing education data to establish a comprehensive roadmap of stakeholder needs and priorities. 

Following this assessment, the ASAS program will:

  • Launch a new early grades undergraduate program at three public universities that is aligned with international standards and in-service teacher training;
  • Institutionalize EG data quality assurance processes and assessments;
  • Review and rationalize diagnostic assessment tools to cover holistic childhood development;
  • Analyze the cost-effectiveness of teacher professional development; and
  • Strengthen data systems utilized by the MoE and learning capabilities.