Syrian refugee students at a school in Jordan. Photo by Ahmad Muhsen/Save The Children.
This press release originally appeared here.
Pearson and Save the Children have extended their ‘Every Child Learning’ partnership to launch a new pilot education project in Jordan, in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education. It will help Syrian refugees and children living in host communities improve their academic results and build resilience, and help make their schools safer. The project consists of a fun and engaging maths learning app, “Space Hero” (Batl Al Fada’a), developed by Pearson, in collaboration with refugee and Jordanian children using learner-centred design approaches. The app will support a broader Save the Children led in-school programme focusing on teacher professional development, enhancing school-community relations, after-school learning and psychosocial support.
The project will be launched in three boys’ schools for the 2017-2018 academic year. Then for the 2018-2019 academic year, the project will be scaled up to an additional five schools (one boys’ school and four girls’ schools). The app can also be found on the Google Play store to download for free, so that children can access learning anywhere at any time.
“The crisis in Syria has had a devastating impact on children’s lives, depriving millions of young people an education for many years now. The world cannot stand by and allow this to become a lost generation of Syrian children, set back decades by a brutal war,” said Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive of Save the Children. “Save the Children is proud to be launching this ambitious programme with Pearson. If we want to make the biggest difference for children, we must harness the expertise of partners to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children are given the chance to learn in safe and secure environments. This programme will improve the delivery of education in Jordan and give both Syrian refugee and Jordanian children the chance to fulfil their potential.”
“Pearson is invested in improving education for children and youth displaced by conflict as this is one of the world’s most intractable education challenges. We want to help tackle this challenge, but we know we can’t do it alone,” said Kate James, Chief Corporate Affairs and Global Marketing Officer of Pearson. “Since 2015, we are proud to have been working with Save the Children on our ‘Every Child Learning’ partnership, to improve access to quality education for Syrian refugees and vulnerable children in Jordan. I am delighted that we are now announcing the next important step for this work. Our innovative education project, in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, will help Jordanian and Syrian children to accelerate their learning and improve their wellbeing.”
“At Save the Children Jordan we are committed to ensure that every last child affected by the Syrian crisis has access to quality education in an enabling and inclusive environment. In order to do, so we need to make sure that we offer different strategies and approaches to education rather than a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. I am proud of our partnership with Pearson and the Ministry of Education as it will bring along the changes we want to see in the education delivered to all children in Jordan.” said Rania Malki, CEO of Save the Children in Jordan.
His excellency, The General Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mohammad Al Okour, emphasised the importance of the Every Child Learning project in supporting the Ministry of Education’s role in improving the educational process and its outcomes. “The project also supports the provision of utilities needed for a safer education for students,” added Al Okour, referring to the efforts put by the Ministry of Education into providing an educational environment for all the Jordanian and Syrian students in public schools, and expressing his thanks to Save the Children Jordan for its partnership with the government.
“I’m delighted to welcome the Pearson team to Jordan as they celebrate the next phase of their partnership with Save the Children, which is helping more than 3000 Jordanian and Syrian children to improve their maths skills,” said British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden. “I’m particularly impressed by the ‘Space Hero’ app, in which British innovation meets the imagination and energy of the Jordanian and Syrian children who helped with its design. As a founder member of the UK Jordan Business Task Force set up by the UK government, Pearson is doing vital work with Save the Children to improve the quality of education for Jordanian and Syrian children. Space Hero Shehab may not be able to replace traditional textbooks, but he can certainly complement them in a new and engaging way which makes learning fun.”
Since 2011, Jordan has played a critical role in responding to the Syria Crisis, and with 656,000 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Jordan, a solution that ensures the delivery of effective education is critical. Jordan’s education system is strained with 50% of Syrian boys and 55% Syrian girls dropping out of formal education between grades 7 and 11. This is concerning as children who are no longer in school are vulnerable to the risks of child labour, early marriage and recruitment into militia groups.
Utilising Pearson’s expertise in education content development and Save the Children’s expertise working on the ground with vulnerable children, an innovative education project has been developed to help this situation by improving the academic standards of Syrian children living in Jordan, as well as local Jordanian children affected by the overwhelmed education system.
The project hopes to secure the following core outcomes:
- Students’ achievement improved through access to accelerated learning;
- Teachers’ skills enhanced to support Jordanian and Syrian children struggling to achieve grade level competencies;
- School and community systems strengthened to accelerate learning and reduce violence;
- National education learning and violence-reduction systems strengthened
To find out more about Pearson and Save the Children’s partnership to improve education for children in emergency and conflict- affected settings visit: https://www.pearson.com/corporate/about-pearson/what-we-do/every-child-learning.html or www.savethechildren.org.uk/pearson #EveryChildLearning