Jordanian boys culture and the tawjihi under-achievement!

80% is the ratio of female to male entering the Jordanian public university this year!

That is, in my opinion, *over-achievement* of women calling for equality in a society that suffers from male domination in many different ways.

First of all let’s congratulate the ladies for their success.

But then, such ratio is absurd! One would want a rational explanation of why our male youth are under performing? No?

I think the reasoning of Mr’s Khaled Al Khawaja in Al’Ra’ee news papers yesterday is very sound. There is something wrong in our upraisal system. Girls schools are doing much better than boys schools. They are more disciplined, they have better teachers, and they get better results.

So what is wrong with our upraisal system?

Boys are raised different that girls. They enjoy more mobility freedom, less moral judgement and an emphasized expectation to prove their masculinity in an exaggerated way that is reflected from the worshipping of masculine behaviour from the society at large.

That is all triggered an unhealthy violent culture in between young boys. For breaking the laws has grew as admirable trait in the young male communities. There is a gang culture, and the toughest is the most popular rather than the one with the highest moral values.

A week ago, my little brother’s friends attacked a guy from a different school for insulting their school. The group of boys attacked this single guy brutally where they left him with a broken nose, a broken shoulder and an eye bleeding. All for the sake of proving their masculinity.

Today my mother had to go pick up my little brother early from school because the other school boys are grouping each other and planning to launch a revenge attack.

The incident in itself is a demonstration of our tribal mentality reflected on our young male communities. Schools identities are the road of our boys towards manhood in order to be fit towards their roles in our tribal system.

In the other hand girls do spend more time at home. They have less freedom and a stronger culture for achieving and improving themselves. There is also a kind of social pressure for marriage and a sense of competition where a higher educational achievement reflects a good girl – that is a marriage material.

Would an equal(same) nurturing system result in a more even results? I bet it would. In the meantime, I think the government should pay a closer attention to boy schools and try better disciplinary methods.


  1. It´s the same pattern here in Denmark. Interesting that the situation is the same in an arab country.My ill-informed guess is: – the girls are kept at home with lots of duties, so they do their homework. Boys are in the streets, where noone looks after them.– boys are used to a special status in their families simply because they are males (and muslims). They can´t accept to be evaluated on their merits in the school-system. (a recent survey in Norway showed, that teachers found it problematic, that muslim boys dont respect female teachers.)It’s a cultural thing, I guess.


  2. I think there is also another reason you failed to mention. That is that university graduates don’t necessarily get paid as much as traders or handymen in the ME so underachieving men, upon whom the huge burden of marriage and family is put will drop out at a young age; while women aren;t expected to provide in our societies so money isn;t a factor in their decisions.


  3. anons1, I dont think that this is relate to Islam, because all boys in Jordan suffer from the same culture of their youth communities. Anons2, I dont think this is a reason too, because as much as we are hoping for skilled people in other fields that dont require a university degree, as much as we still look down at it. A university degree is essential regardless of your job afterwards. Young boys are not under achieving because they are looking for jobs with more money, they are under achieving because there is a corrupt young boy culture that relates corruptiong to masculinity!


  4. I don’t know about Jordan but it is true in other arab countries I think it is true in jordan as well; especially given Jordan’s poverty. Just because you look down on the skilled job workers doesn’t mean there aren’t any and there are many other jobs that don’t require degree that aren’t looked down on.


  5. anon2, you are right about that. I was talking about social perspective in general rather than my own stand. But yes, people would want their boys to get a university degree first regardless of what would generate more money.


  6. Hey – first off nice to meet you @ LickyLicious last weekend … I have to get around to actually trying the ice cream next time, heh.Anyway I’m an english teacher in Madaba and have also taught teenaged/university aged boys in Jabal Lweibdeh. I friend of mine who is conducting research with 10th graders in Balqa refugee camp and I were talking about the huge gender gaps both of us have noticed in academic achievement levels. For the past decade or so in the USA, we’ve had more women than men entering university as well and there has been talk of reverse discrimination, and whether boys are in fact discouraged from “bookish” pursuits in the classroom. I just know that I see it, too, even with the younger ones from the KG and up. Girls are held to higher standards for their handwriting in primary school. Thanks for pointing this out, and let’s keep pondering the whys and hows. Meanwhile, time for class…!


  7. Emgrace, heyy, it was nice meeting you at LL as well.This is very interesting. I didn’t know that the same is happening in the US. I dont know how much the ratio of achivement over there. Is it as much as severe as in Jordan? 80% is a very big number, no? What do you think? Do you think it has more to do with gender qualities than cultural basis?


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