The Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) is a non-governmental organization established in 2003 under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II that is now affiliated to the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF).
JEI supports schools by implementing effective pedagogical integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools and e-resources in education. They equip teachers to create a sustainable learning environment conducive of 21st century teaching, enabling students to become skilled citizens in the knowledge economy. They do this through their school-based JEI educational model, integrating technology holistically in each school as a unit.
JEI supports Jordan’s efforts to raise the standard of education, encouraging creativity, developing student and teacher capabilities and building a knowledge economy.
JEI was established to couple the power of technology with proven modern teaching strategies fit for the technology-driven 21st century. It is no longer enough to master the “3 Rs” —reading, writing and arithmetic. In today’s world, digital literacy is a basic skill, but JEI is more than a mechanism to enhance digital literacy—JEI promotes the effective use of technology to transform schools into a place of discovery, creativity and skill development, allowing Jordanian students to reach their educational potential.
JEI has developed a strong multi-stakeholder approach. Since 2003, they have had over 50 partners ranging from public, private and civil society organizations in Jordan and internationally. For their work in Jordan, JEI focuses on public schools run by the Ministry of Education (MoE). JEI also provides consultancy on ICT strategies and capacity building to interested schools and governments globally.
JEI educational model: aims to develop technologically-savvy schools that arm their students to meet the demands of the 21st century. The model is built on five pillars:
Enhancing technological infrastructure: JEI provides both hardware and software to its participating schools, including computer labs, in-classroom technology, connectivity and e-curricula.
Capacity building: JEI promotes effective, technology-enabled lessons by equipping educators with the requisite skills, including:
Induction workshops for school management, teachers and the community to explain the JEI educational model
Change management training to equip teachers to define the school’s vision, design and plan projects and systematically monitor and evaluate those projects to facilitate change
Interactive whiteboard pedagogy training on the effective use of different tools and integrating them into the classroom
21st Century teaching and learning training building the capacity of teachers in ICT literacy, research skills, collaborative work, critical thinking, project-based learning and the use of social media to create student-led teaching and learning
E-Resources: JEI has developed electronic curricula in six subjects (e-math, e-science, e-English, e-Arabic, e-ITC, and e-civics). These are used in the classroom to enrich the learning process through a blended methods approach.
Sustainability: JEI transfers lessons learned to the MoE and encourages MoE ownership over JEI interventions.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Implementation of the JEI educational model adheres to a results-based monitoring and evaluation system targeting students, teachers and principals. The most suitable qualitative or quantitative methods are used depending on the type of intervention.
JEI educational model schools are a fertile ground to pilot innovative educational projects, both infrastructure and pedagogy-related. Working with over 50 international and national partners, JEI has implemented over 61 projects since 2006—for example, cloud computing, 3G connectivity, technological equipment, one-to-one computing, and technology use in early childhood learning.
JEI has a team of experts that adapt the JEI educational model to suit each community, culture or nation, so the model can be wholly or partially replicated at new schools in Jordan, in the region and globally. In Jordan, JEI currently works in partnership with Madrasati to deploy the JEI educational model in 82 public schools.
Fursati Liltamayyoz (means ‘my opportunity to excel and standout’ in Arabic): This is JEI’s yearlong internship program for recent ICT graduates. By preparing and introducing interns to the labor market, the program bridges the gap between the outcomes of the education system and needs of the labor market. Interns provide elementary and secondary schools with technical support to help to integrate technology into learning with the aim of transforming them into ICT community hubs. The internship comprises five phases:
Orientation and soft-skills training
A placement at a school with the JEI educational model for two semesters
Technical training to further develop their ICT skills during the winter break
On-the-job training for three to four months with a public organization or private company
Ongoing mentorship throughout all the phases of the internship
JEI has coordinated the efforts of their partners to develop e-curricula in six subjects which have been adopted by the Ministry of Education and are available on their national portal, EduWave. JEI has also been successful in coordinating teacher training on ICT skills to ensure that they can teach the e-curricula. Since 2003, 9,000 teachers have been trained and 108,000 students nationwide have benefited from increased technological integration in their learning.
JEI educational model schools that have implemented Texas Instruments (TI), a mathematics tool for 10th, 11th and 12th graders, have seen a significant impact on student grades when compared to students that are not learning through TI. As a result of this success, TI is being implemented in 24 additional schools in different governorates. Following the implementation of the One to One project, which provides a computer for each K-12 student, teachers’ ICT skills and overall use of ICT improved from 49% to 100% and students’ ICT skills and use improved from 72% to 100% by the end of the project. Parents’ ICT skills also improved from 43% to 67%.
JEI has been sought after for their model, expertise and effective practices. They have shared their experience through expanded project implementation as well as training and consultancy in over 15 countries from Oman to Rwanda. In 2009, JEI won the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Award for “teaching, learning and e-pedagogy: teacher professional development for knowledge societies.”
“My daughter’s pronunciation and academic achievement have improved [since she received her netbook and 3G dongle]. Now my daughter has started depending on herself in learning and in searching for information.”
-Mother of Sulafa (7th grader at Balgees Elementary School for Girls)