The Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), Save the Children and the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) convened a high-level meeting on refugee education in Amman on Sept. 9, addressing one of the critical humanitarian issues born out of the global refugee crisis.
Held under the patronage of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, the meeting brought together philanthropists, business leaders, donor institutions and international and regional development organizations, and was chaired by Hassan Jameel, Community Jameel president, and Kevin Watkins, Save the Children UK chief executive.
The Amman meeting followed a high-level roundtable held at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2019, which Queen Rania also attended, and which was chaired by Jameel and Helle Thorning Schmidt, then chief executive of Save the Children International and former prime minister of Denmark. The meeting was also part of the buildup to the Global Refugee Forum, which will be held in Geneva in December by UNHCR.
Speaking at the roundtable, Jameel said: “At Community Jameel, we recognize the importance of education. By supporting teachers’ well-being, in conjunction with improving quality teaching practices and student learning, we have the opportunity to re-establish the transformative role of education in vulnerable children’s lives.”
Save the Children UK CEO Watkins said: “Save the Children is celebrating 100 years of humanitarian and development experience and we are delighted to be partnering with such high-level, global philanthropists on this critical agenda.
“Over half of the world’s 25 million refugees are children. If those children were a single country, that country would be the country with the world’s worst education indicators. More than half of the world’s school-aged refugee children — 4 million in total — are out of school.”
Among the attendees were senior representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UAE-based Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education, the Saudi-based Alwaleed Philanthropies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the LEGO Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the World Bank.
Following its initial launch by Queen Rania as an online adult learning platform, Edraak partnered with Google.org and the Jack Ma Foundation to launch a K-12 platform, providing quality Arabic education materials to both children and adults, accessible for free to refugees and others across the region.
Another program, the Transforming Refugee Education toward Excellence (TREE) initiative, received a major boost with the announcement on Monday that philanthropic organization Dubai Cares had committed $1.5 million to the program.
TREE is an initiative of Save the Children and MIT J-WEL being piloted in Jordan, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with Community Jameel and Dubai Cares. Over a five-year period, it aims to equip Jordanian teachers with skills to deliver effective teaching, and to help students suffering from trauma overcome challenges.