Dubai Cares to pilot major $4m programme for children in need

Programme, announced in Ramadan, will work in to improve high school graduation rates among youth unable to complete secondary schooling in the country
Dubai Cares to pilot major $4m programme for children in need
Tariq al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares
By Shayan Shakeel
Thu 17 May 2018 04:06 PM

Dubai Cares has announced it is introducing a new pilot programme to help emergency affected, displaced and poor youth in Jordan complete their schooling and boost high school graduation rates in the country.

The programme will be funded by a $3 million contribution from Dubai Cares as well as a $1 million donation from UAE-based conglomerate Chalhoub Group.

To begin in September, it will use an e-learning solution through US-based Pedago to provide the final two years of Arabic language high school curriculum online.

Jordan’s secondary education system has been mired in poor high school graduation rates.

In 2015, 100,000 students entered the 12th grade, according to Jordan’s Venture magazine, out of whom only 24,000 managed to sit for the annual board exams, called Tawjihi, and graduate. In more than 25 percent of public schools in poor and rural areas, every student that sat for the exam failed.

“The programme and the curriculum have been approved by Jordan’s Ministry of Education,” Tariq al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview yesterday. “We will aim to boost graduation rates in the Tawjihi, with the schools that we work with to beyond 40 percent.”

This Dubai Cares programme will be tested for two years. “Jordan’s high school graduation rates are very low. The programme will work with Syrian refugees in camps within Jordan as well as schools in rural and poor areas in Amman,” says al Gurg.

“If this works, Jordan could be one of the first countries in the world to perfect an ed-tech solution into its education system. At the end of this, the programme could be a model ready for replication in areas around the world,” he added.

Dubai Cares is part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. In 2017, spent $41 million to improve access to education for 18 million beneficiaries, and has now worked in 53 countries in total.

Its Education in Emergency initiative, first announced at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016 looks to provide access to education to youth and children who are refugees or displaces due to, among other causes, natural disasters, epidemics and conflict. Dubai Cares has pledged 33 percent of its annual global funding toward the initiative.

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