Friday, February 15, 2013

Tawjihi Testing

There's nothing quite so fun as being woken up at 3am by the sound of teenagers cheering, fireworks firing, guns firing into the air and cars honking their horns.

This wasn't a national holiday or protest that caused the noise, but the results of the annual Tawjihi tests. Tawjihi is the general secondary examination in Jordan, and is given by the Ministry of Education annually. Students take the exam after the completing two years of junior high school.  
Exam is a standardized scale for measuring the efficiency of the Kingdom of education. 
To succeed in the Tawjihi test of the student should get more than 50% for each tested material. Upon succeeding, student receives a certificate of high school, and this is the first certificate earned by the student in his school.
It's difficult to find a job without a high school degree. When you get a job, the person who owns a Tawjihi certificate receives a good salary.
Tawjihi Examination tests the ability of the student to enroll in graduate studies such as colleges and universities. It is also decided by the university, which course will be joined by the student what the test results allow him to specialize in. You cannot belong to the university without Tawjihi certificate.
Many parents help their kids prepare for these exams for months and are heavily invested in the outcome as these are the kids that need to take care of them someday. Somehow the ACT and SAT don't seem to hold the same weight as this test in this country does.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Give It To Me Straight Doc

This wasn't a post that I was expecting to write anytime in the near future. Mostly because I didn't expect to see a doctor so soon. But since my aging body betrayed me with an aberration, I decided it was time to track down a doctor.

Now, let me start off by saying we do have international health insurance and I could have searched their network for doctors. But, I've learned in my world travels, that many places have very affordable health care and that usually friends can recommend trusted doctors. So, I called a nice lady doctor of a friend and made an appointment for later that day. The Russian doctor was very kind and asked all the questions one expects from a doctor. She soon determined that I ought to go get an ultrasound and mammogram done and called an office she knew to see if I could go up there. So, 45 minutes later I'm having those procedures performed by a good Jordanian doctor who is also very competent and thorough.
The next day, I stopped by the radiologist's office and picked up his report and my films and went back to my primary doctor. She read the report, gave me advice and sent me on my way.

Total time spent dealing with doctor and radiologist: 2 hours
Travel time to appointments: 3 hours
Cost of primary doctor visit: $14
Cost of radiology visit and films: $98
Not having to deal with a bloated and complicated medical and health insurance system: priceless

These are all private(not state) doctors and the quality of care and equipment was just as good as one would get stateside. In past overseas trips, both Jason and I have gone to the dentist for the same reason of good care at a fraction of the cost.

Will I end up using our international health care plan while we're here? That remains to be seen. But I'm very pleased with my limited experience of cash for services rendered.

P.S. My health issue turned out to be benign just so you know.