Trying to get by...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jordan School Research

Salam, Me and my better half are looking into different school options for our kids. Does anyone know anything about the following schools? Tuition-Educational Level?

Al Aqsa School for Girls Al Omaria Islamic Scientific College Mashreq In'tl Schools Ahliyyah School for Girls

Thanks in advance.



Anonymous said...

well, I have never been to any of these, but would like to share my opinion on their educational level--no offence for anyone

The first two concentrates more on religion education, some students I knew were generally weak in english mostly.

Islamic Scientific College, has better english education but not as other private schools, the level of society is a little conservative

Ahliyya School, no much activities but society (teachers, students and parents) is not conservative in general and the english education is one of the best

Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

heyyyyyyy dont ever ever ever think about Islamic Scientific College!!!!! it is the worst school in jordan i swear !! ana kont honak o b3raf enha la eslamyeh wala 3lmyeh o la 7ta MADRASEH MNEE7A ..!!elbnat tafheen o el el asatzeh mot5alfeen kteer bs bardo jarabet el DMS el dor el manthoor is better..ahliyya school jarbtha saneh kteeeeeeeer mnee7a ..o t5arajer mnha.

Anonymous said...

if you're looking at level of education, at this point, the best school in the coutnry hands down is the Amman Baccalaureate School. The modern Montessori and the New English School come in behind, but they pale in terms of academic rigour and so does the American community School.

I think there's going to be a new school called Deerfield college but if im not mistaken its a boarding school. It's an American private School, that is located in Boston I think, but they're opening a branch somewhere in Jordan, the academic achievement of this school here in Boston is excellent.

But for the time ebing I would definitely go with Amman Baccalaureate School because it successfully sends graduates to top universities everyyear,

The NES and Montessori, do send graduates to foregin schools but they tend to rarely send students to top shools, but ABS always sends a large number of students to the very elite schools in the US and UK, almost every year there are a number of students gaining admission to Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Georgetown, Duke, UCL, Oxford, LSE and so on

but its really expensive, I think its about 7000 JDs a year without taking supplies into account and I think they are raising the fees to 8000 (these figures are for the high school, IB and MYP

It is very important that your children don't do Tawjihi, but rather go with something like the IB which is offered at ABS, A mashraq and al ahlia, but their academic record is not that great at all.

madas said...

Dear Khaled,

My sister has been doing a very extensive research about schools for her son.

Usually it is better to avoid religion based school. Al ahliya which is CMS(?) i think is the best one on your list.

But if you want your kids to be in an islamic school, there is this school called ay al hayat (life), it is a modern school, based on the education in the west. Excellent english and activities and based on project just like what kids would be doing in they were in the States, and it concentrates on Arabic and islamic studies. I think it is a good idea to check it out.

PALFORCE said...

Thanks alot !
See, I'm looking for an Islamic based school, not into American or British schools. My kids already speak english thanks to TV, but I want them to be strong in Religion and Arabic. Laila mashallah already recites over 6 sorahs of the Quran and she is not even 5 yet. I always wished we had better religion studies at school and I'm trying to do that for her, so when she is a teen she would have a good size of religion sense to make up her own decisions.
Any idea on how much those schools charge?

Thank you all


Anonymous said...

unfortunately I think you're going to have to make a trade off between good academics and a strong religious education, for in Jordan I don't think you can find both.
I personally think the most important thing to do for your daughters is allow them the opportunity to excel academically and give them the best education possible which will help them practically in in their later life.

Having experienced a more traditional school and the ABS, I can clearly tell you that Islamic schools don't necessarily instill relgiosity or faith. It is very hard for a religious school to do that. The real impetus for that sort of thing comes from the home, Having seen the atmosphere at some of these Islamic schools I can tell you that superficially they may exude faith and religiosity but the student body is far from that. Too much repression and a need to rebel comes out. Also CMS, is the christian missionary school,

I still think that if money is no object your best bet is palcing them a co-ed school preferrably the ABS. Even if they decide to stay in Jordan for univbersity, a lot of subjects are now taught primarily in English and not Arabic especially the more science based subjects. I do think that an ABS education or a similar more secular education from an itnernational private school will give them the opprotunities such as going to good colleges, and I say again if you have the the means don't let them end up doing tawjihi but an international programme such as IB or A-levels.

that also doesn't necessarily mean they ahve to give up on Arabic, simply, the subjects they take in hgih school will mostly be in English but not in primary and middle school where there is an equal emphasis on both english and Arabic subjects. Its at high school that arabic starts becoming less important as almost all subjects are taught in english except of course for arabic langauge, literature and religion.

I don't think you need worry about your kids losing their language if you send them to one of these schools, I think there is very little to be lost and much to gain by sending them to somewhere like ABS, they won't lose their arabic and they certainly won't lose their religion,

I would also liek to warn you that the Islamic schools you mentioned fail in instilling faith, they might try but the reprecussions of it are awful,

gifve your kids the opprotunity to go to some of the world's best universities so that they then may decide from a favourable position what they might want in life

PALFORCE said...

Thanks for the feed back.

Does anyone know howmuch each one charges?>


Anonymous said...

Although I think I'd be wasting my breath, but:

Religion is dead (sociologically speaking, that is}, I think all over the world, but I can at least speak for Jordan.

If you want your children to have a religious education, then you're definitely NOT gonna get it from any school. Unless what you really want is for your children to memorize some prayers and be segregated, repressed and brain-washed for the sake of pretention, and taught not to do this and that, then you could have that ...

And hey, good luck on finding a good school (academically speaking now), I don't think there is one in any Arab country, although I don't know jacks about those upper-class schools, only those are worth looking at then, if you can afford them :O

I wish that your kids won't be other bricks in the wall ...

Killer Bee Bop said...

Umm,I forgot to type in my name :P

Last Anonymous comment was actually made by the Bee Bop!

Anonymous said...

for charges it depends on the ages of ur kids...I agree, good English (not educational) level cant come with good english , u know what, this also depends on the society you want ur kids to grow in...I dont recommend Ahliyya or ABS or NES if you cant afford luxarious things for ur kids...for example, ipods..expenssive outings...etc Manhal and Urooba were good candidates some time

kinzi said...

Fun to think you and fam are considering a move back to Jordan!

If you choose ABS, be prepared for a waiting list. Many of the richer schools have the same drug problem as in the US, btw. Also, generally speaking, rich kids have huge discipline problems. If your kids are used to US discipline levels and consequences for action, they will really be shocked by the playground and in class meanness and bullying that is allowed.

Even though I am a Christian (my kids go to two Christian schools in Amman), I've heard bad things from Muslim parents who put their kids in the specialized Islamic schools. Mainly, teachers didnt' live out what they were teaching. Which then teaches kids to compartmentalize their faith and not apply it. Secndly, they didn't teach kids how to think about their faith, just memorize it's precepts. In this world, they have to know not just what, but why they believe. We pulled one of our kids out of a school here because of the hypocrisy that was being practiced by 'Christians'was hurting our sons' faith.

You and your wife really need to visit the schools yourselves. As a parent who has struggled through the school issue YEARLY, we re-evaluate each year for each child. It is more important to have an educated, lively and creative religion teacher than a religious curriculum. You and your wife can add the faith element to all subjects as you help them study.

I'm a firm believer that solid faith is taught best by parents.

Amman Academy has a great system (although our kids don't go there, I know some teachers)

madas said...

Actually this hyatt school combines both, education and religion and Arabic. Khaled, the best thing you can do is visit all the schools that you want in person... and get all the information from them... there is also al wataniya which is also Arabic based and has an excellent academic and personality development schemes... just visit them

Anonymous said...

I know many Religious western muslims, most of a very high academic background, who have their kids in the hayat school. From what I have heard, they do a great job of balancing between the two worlds, though I don't know what grade it goes to. I do not recommend at all any of the western schools, having studied in them most of my life...It would be very hard to find anyone who has graduated out of them having a sense of what religion is, and how to practice it. I didn't find my religion, until I went to the states! I know the islamic schools aren't perfect, and most of the problems I have seen come from the hypocrisy of the families who put their kids in them, not vice-versa...Though, the blame is always the school's. Because, the parent expects that ALL of the child's upbringing is at school, and when he comes home he sees the opposite and is allowed to do and want the opposite...Then cries that school sucks. Looking back, I realize this now when my parents took my younger brother out of an islamic school here in Amman. While concerning going to university after that, even if you want your children to study in the west, it's possible, because I know people who have recently gone west from these schools. The parents have to work with the child, if they don't think the school's helping him enough, or they could get him a private tutor, and still save thousands in comparison to those schools. I have heard that the ridwan school has a better level of english education than most of the other islamic schools here. Anyways, hopefully my advice has been useful.

PALFORCE said...


thank you all again,

You are right Anon about the religious bringing of our kids should be from home and not school, I agree with you 100%.

Thank you all for your valuable inputs.


Anonymous said...

In response to Kinzi,

I ighly resent the implcation that Schools like ABS have major drug problems. That is completely unture, and I can vouch for it having graduated from that school.
It's not the first time I've heard something like that, rumours like that fly around Amman all the time. My favourite till now was that most of the girls at ABS get pregnant bya ge 15 and are dropping out of school to get abortions. It is completely unsubstantiated. Another thing, The ABS is the only truly non-profit school in the private sector, Another is Islamic college of science. A lot of these private schools, even the Islamic schools liek al dur al manthur al manahel, the Amman academy, are run more or less businesses, they have owners who accrue profit. I think there's a problem with a school liek that because the emphasis is obivously not on education but on proft creation.

Also I resent the so called discipline problems brought up. Have you been to these ISlamic schools the day that tawjihi results come out, its a bloody zoo, the only way these students are kept in line at those schools is through extremely harsh physical abuse. There are beatings, rarer now ythan before that still go on at these schools,

At my time at ABS I have seldom heard a teacher raise their voice not because they lacked the ability to discipline students but there was in fact no need as the students by and large are respective.

Also, little known fact over 15% of the students at ABS, such as myslef, are teachers' children who receive a 70% discount. Plus a lot of other students receive fianncial aid and so on.

So please put a halt to the rumour mill.

Ziad said...

I have to agree that the ABS is by far the best school in jordan academically. And the students are more mature and self-disciplined than in any other school too.

Another satisfied ABS graduate :)

P.S. I was given enough college credits for my IB to skip freshman year all together at a U.S. university (finished my BS in 3 years).

kinzi said...

Anon, I wrote an extensive apology/explanation for my commetns, but it must've gotten lost in the blogosphere. I'll ry to quickly explain:

1. I am so sorry for the offense. I do know teachers and students at our school (maybe even your mom!) and it is the most excellent academic and socially involved in Jordan. But it is perhaps because of this i expect a higher standard of behaviour. It's easy to pick out the kids in the mall in their uniforms, ya know.

2. I didn't mean to point out ABS for a drug problem (especially not on the same level as the US), but that all the private schools in Jordan are aware of the existence of drugs and on the look out. Driving through Abduun Circle on Thursday night is proof enough to me there is a drug problem in Jordan - with those who wear their school jackeets as well.

3. I don't just believe any old rumor (didn't hear the pregnancy one), but I am always talking with parents who hae legitimate concerns, especially those who move here to escape certain behaviours and are shocked to discover they are thriving here too. But next time, I'll ask them for harder facts too.

So, Anon, please accept my apology I and won't be so quick to type next time. Thanks. Peace

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the apology, after re-reading my posts I see that the abundance of speeling and grammatical mistakes are not exactly a positive reflection of the school. For soem reason I never proof read comments I put up on Blogs,

There is undoubtedly a drug problem in Jordan, bit I've always resisted the idea that ABS specifically has a drug problem more so than Jordanian society in general. Maybe smoking cigarettes, I stratred smoking at age 15 and I mostly smoked cigarettes at school, but in terms of illegal drugs, I maintain that I had never seen or heard of an ABS student taking any form of drugs whilst I was there.

I feel very strongly about this because I firmly believe that ABS afforded me wonderful opportunities. I am now a 3rd year at Duke University studying economics and Eurasian languages and Literature. If it hadn't been for ABS and I had indeed went to a a more traditional school which I might have given the fact that I don't come from a spectacularly wealthy family (by ABS standards) I would've probably ended up at University of Jordan at the very best wasting my brain away. (Not that UJ is that abd my father was a professor there for 17 years).

When I left ABS I had acceptances to Oxford, Edinburgh, LSE, Durham (for Law in England), All Canadian universities I applied to for Economics (MCgill, queens, Dalhousie) and Duke University in the states where I ultimately ended up on almost full scholarship.

I feel very strongly about this because I recognize that this need not have been my future necessarily and I am quick to attribute that things turned out positively to ABS.

You might know my mom she's lulu khasawneh teaching grade 1 English

kinzi said...

Anon, whew, thanks for the forgiveness granted. Communication is at times hard without a face and voice beside the words.

I wanted to say that I know ABS sometimes does become victim of the 'jealousy factor', people running down a school just because their child wouldn't make it there. Just so you know, that's not me and I don't listen to inflated complaints.

Being a product of the US drug culture (several of my high school friend's parents were drug dealers)I am very aware of signs of drug use.

I didn't even notice your errors - I am a dyslexic typist and make enough of my own to point out!

You and Ziad have quite impressive records. I'm thankful you had the foundation you received and are running with it - I'm sure both of your mothers are very proud. The greatest thing is that you both exhibit attitudes of thankfulness.

Perhaps I should check out this waiting list at ABS for my kids... :)

abusaif said...

It's amazing how everyone has their own opinion and definition on what a good school is?!

Brother, you have to see yourself. I’ve moved from the US thinking that my kids would get better education (academically and Islamically) here in Jordan. I was dead wrong. Thank Allah that my kids are still young and we might have better schools in the near future.

I have 8 nephews and nieces that go to both “pro-academic” schools and to “pro-religion” schools. So, I have an outsider point of view…

I agree that there is a trade-off between religion and academics. No one school can give you everything you need for your kids. Some schools mentioned are ok academically. They are good choice if your kids are willing to study and you are willing to put effort into keeping them away from trouble (sex, homosexuality, drugs…etc.) that are in most of these “high-end” expensive schools. Most parents are in denial that such problems exist. Such schools care about $$$$$$$ and they will rarely come and telling you that your child is screwed up or screwing up fearling that they would loose your $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

PALFORCE, kids graduating from such schools do not care about PAL and definitely won’t have any FORCE .

Sadly, Islamic schools are lagging in academics. However, they are good choice if you and your child are willing and able to work extra hard at home. They do put Islamic basics into children and the rest is up to you. However, be careful when choosing one. Such schools are becoming more and more about $$$$$$$$$$.

Good luck…

PALFORCE said...

Thank you Abusaif for the valuable advice. Can you elaborate on how did the move back to Jordan go?
The good, the bad , and the ugly senario?



Anonymous said...

oh well , as i know the schools in amman .. i'd give you some advice ... :-)

1.ABS : american styled school "high end" , "designer baby " , "money" are some of it's social practices , but academically they are excellent .. for example from 1st grade to 5th grade students are taught everything in arabic , except english as a language and science , and i think history . So basically your child grows up with strong arabic ...
from 6th grade till 8th the arabic lessons are thorough , providing not only ministry books , but other narratives , or autobiographies etc .. that boost your child's capabilities in arabic ... but math is still taught in arabic
9th grade : students covert to full english , except in the subjects on religion , arabic , and a civic lesson each week .
ABS is a great school , with a rigorous academic program , and a sense of school community life ( they hold regular assemblies , and school activities etc .. )

2.Montessori : i would disagree that this school is good , it is sufficient till the 5th grade level , you can forget about ( overgrading , which would lead to easiness in passing a hard subject , too much ill-disciplened studnets etc ... )

3.The international school of chouiefat : is a very highly rigorous school in academics esepcially those based in english ... it's education levels are very high .. for example things students take there in 6th grade or 7th grade are take in other schools in 9th grade .... do not let this fool you , about social life ... the social life is just like any other normal school , a good thing is that they have a weekly exam basis on particular subjects .. that would keep the student in tip top shape...

again as other people have said .. religion + academics in jordan .. doesn't work well ...
the best option is ABS .. it focuses its attention on religion , arabic , english , sciences , humanities , maths ..

:-) , glad i could be of some help !

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the fact that the American Community School in Amman, Jordan, lacks in rigor. It also lacks in adequate supervision of younger kids on the playground.

The current superintendent is spineless. He has treated lightly or ignored complaints of sexual mistreatment of students. The administration cares very little about anything but the check from the parents. In that way, I guess they are very American.

Bright kids are not challenged. Many a double standard exist as to who gets in which class. Nepotism is honored in as much as the child students of teachers get in AP classes early, etc. Try ICS or Whitman instead.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above regarding ACS Amman- both the high school principal and the director lack leadership qualities. There have been substantiated complaints of harassment and sexual harrassment of students in the high school. The offenders receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist if that. Many of the students there are more concerned with disrupting the classroom instruction than learning - small percentage are there for academics. I am not sure why they are there. While there are good teachers there are some that are not good who have no control of their classrooms. There are more that are simply not certified. For the amount of tuition that is being charged
($14,000 for HS; $12,000 for MS and $10,000 for ES)I would expect nothing less than certified teachers and those that are familiar with not only American curriculum (after all it IS the American Community School) but teaching philosphies. I agree that academically it is not very challenging - not so much because of the teachers but because of the adminsitration that is incapable of placing the students first. Students who may want to be challenged are held back by administration that tend to cater to those that do not have the desire to work academically. Students have been known to have to repeat courses that they have taken at other schools because the administration does not want to be bothered with making changes in schedules. If you have a motivated student who needs to be challenged this is not the school to get the most of education for your money. Generally it lacks administratively and the ineptness trickles down to affect the rest of the environment. I've heard good things about King's Academy but it comes at a cost - anyone have personal experience? What needs to be remembered is that each person has their own experience at any of the schools - what worked for one may not work for another; what did not work for one may be the perfect solution for someone else. And of course no school comes without some problem(s). One needs to research, ask questions and listen to the answers and try to make as informative decision as possible.