20 September 2022 – 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.