Nowadays, the demand for well educated workers has never been greater. Community Jameel and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are creating a new global education laboratory that supports education and learning in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and around the world.
For many, education still remains out of reach. According to MIT, over 250,000,000 children worldwide are out of school. Those who do have access to education, sometimes struggle to further it and make the time to balance life and learning; issues that J-WEL plans on tackling. The aim is to empower learners around the world and to open educational pathways that are currently closed to millions.
According to the World Bank, the Middle East and North Africa have made significant strides in education. The average level of schooling has quadrupled between 1960 and 2014, but challenges still remain, including improving the quality of education and ensuring new graduates are ready for the rapidly changing workplace.
To help make effective education a reality Community Jameel is launching a programme together with MIT called Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). This international collaboration is set to help educators, universities, governments, and companies transform the effectiveness and reach of education.
J-WEL will focus on the Middle East and populations underserved by education including women, young girls and the growing population of displaced refugees. Another aim is to help prepare people for a labour market that is constantly altered by technological progress and globalization.
From today J-WEL will be working with governments and having open discussions about education and learning initiatives, in order for MIT to make its programs and resources available to schools, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists, and businesses, as well as provide special access to trainings, workshops, and certification programs.
Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “The Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) at MIT will spark a renaissance in education in schools, higher education, and workplace learning in Saudi Arabia and the world. Education and learning are fundamental to a strong society and economy.
They promote employment and create increased opportunity for all – all central pillars of Saudi Vision 2030. While there has been progress made in improving education, there is always more that can be done. Enabling individuals to do their very best and reach their full potential, whatever their background, is a key priority for Community Jameel, and one on which we look forward to collaborating with the educational community in Saudi Arabia. That is exactly why we are establishing the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab with MIT.”
Entities involved in this program will have special access to MIT’s resources, such as training and workshops, as well as collaborative opportunities.
The programme plans to be operational by September 2017 and will be led by MIT's Vice President for Open Learning, Sanjay Sarma, who will work closely with faculty on J-WEL.