United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA: Ejada – a programme addressing the social and emotional needs of teachers and pupils in Jordan, including Syrian refugees, to reduce violence in classrooms and improve learning outcomes – has been selected by UNESCO as a prestigious Transforming Education Summit Solution to be showcased on day 2 – Solutions Day – of the Transforming Education Summit (TES), the much-anticipated official side event at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Launched in 2019, Ejada is a programme by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Save the Children, with the Ministry of Education in Jordan, and supported by Community Jameel, Dubai Cares and Hikma. As one of the selected solutions at TES, Ejada was prominent in a special session convened by Community Jameel, Dubai Cares and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) titled ‘Tackling inequality and transforming classrooms through social and emotional learning’, which also highlighted UNDP’s work in reducing school violence.
Collaborating with ministry officials, educators and school leaders to design and deliver learning opportunities, and with a commitment to testing and evaluating the initiative, Ejada aims to reach over 650,000 teachers, parents, administrators and pupils – including Syrians and Jordanians – over five years.
To date, the programme has conducted the largest national teacher survey in Jordan’s history to measure teacher occupational wellbeing; created eight teacher professional development courses accredited by the Jordanian Ministry of Education; and trained and engaged over 200 teachers, administrators and Ministry of Education supervisors to deliver the courses.
His Excellency Dr Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer and vice-chairman of Dubai Cares, said: “A safe, secure and peaceful classroom environment is not only crucial for children’s ability to learn effectively, but it is also a key pre-requisite for teachers to be able to play their role as mentors. The Ejada programme has been highly impactful in fostering a positive classroom culture in Jordan by empowering and uplifting teachers with the necessary social and emotional support they need to drive the desired learning outcomes and experiences. There could not be a better global platform than the Transforming Education Summit to showcase Ejada as a unique programme that goes beyond learning and contributes to Dubai Cares’ advocacy efforts towards shaping a new education system that empowers teachers as much as it empowers students.”
George Richards, director of Community Jameel, speaking at TES, said: “Supporting the psychosocial needs of teachers and their pupils is vital to ensuring classrooms are safe and conducive to learning – especially in the face of severe disruption, such as from war, displacement, the pandemic and more. The Ejada programme’s groundbreaking use of compassion as a key tool in teachers’ professional development is the product of a powerful collaboration between the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab, Save the Children and the Ministry of Education in Jordan. We are proud to have joined with Dubai Cares and Hikma to pilot this programme, and we look forward to seeing it scale across Jordan and beyond.”
Dr Claudia Urrea, senior associate director for pK-12 at MIT J-WEL, said: “We strongly believe that the mental health and wellbeing of learners, teachers and other members of the education ecosystem are non-negotiable important priorities in our aim to create an education for everyone to thrive. The Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) has had the privilege to work together with Community Jameel and Save the Children in this innovative programme that aims to serve not only children in Jordan, but in other countries in the region and the world. The iterative approach of this programme will bring positive impact for those we look to serve and will prepare the different members of the ecosystem with process, resources, toolkits, and the capacity to bring implement future programmes.”
Ejada is now ready to launch the programme Jordan-wide. While continuing to test and refine its approach, Ejada seeks to develop an evidence-backed teacher professional development programme that incorporates social and emotional learning, to benefit not only learners in Jordan but also education systems suffering severe disruption worldwide, with the ultimate goal of reducing inequality.
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About Community Jameel:
Community Jameel advances science to help communities thrive in a rapidly changing world.
An independent, global organisation, Community Jameel was launched in 2003 to continue the tradition of philanthropy and community service established by the Jameel family of Saudi Arabia in 1945. Community Jameel supports scientists, humanitarians, technologists and creatives to understand and address pressing human challenges in areas such as climate change, health and education.
The work enabled and supported by Community Jameel has led to significant breakthroughs and achievements, including the MIT Jameel Clinic’s discovery of the new antibiotic Halicin, critical modelling of the spread of COVID-19 conducted by the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London, and a Nobel Prize-winning experimental approach to alleviating global poverty developed by the co- founders of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT.
About Dubai Cares:
Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 21 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.
Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. Moreover, Dubai Cares adopts a strategic approach to improve student enrollment and learning outcomes through an integrated school health and nutrition model that is made up of school-based deworming activities, school feeding, and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in schools.
Dubai Cares is a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), as well as a registered non-government organization under IACAD, the charitable activities regulator in Dubai. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization is authorized to raise funds through direct donations and fundraising campaigns, as well as process all permit approvals with IACAD.
Volunteerism is a powerful tool to Dubai Cares in order to engage people in tackling development challenges. Dubai Cares rallies the UAE wider community through a large spectrum of volunteering and awareness initiatives that are linked to its global mandate.
To learn more, please visit www.dubaicares.ae
About Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL):
The Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) was launched as a joint initiative between MIT and Community Jameel, an independent, global organization advancing science to help communities thrive in a rapidly changing world. The lab was named in honor of the late Abdul Latif Jameel, the founder of Abdul Latif Jameel, and father of MIT alumnus and founder and chairman of Community Jameel, Mohammed Jameel KBE.
J-WEL engages educators, technologists, policymakers, societal leaders, employers, and employees through online and in-person collaborations, workshops, research, and information-sharing events. J-WEL member organizations work with MIT faculty and staff to address global opportunities for scalable change in education.