The Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education (QRA) is a non-governmental organization established in 2005 that is affiliated with the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF).
QRA honors distinguished educators across Jordan through an annual award system. Awardees attend a Royal ceremony under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah and receive a financial reward, a higher rank at the Ministry of Education (MoE) and quality professional and academic development in and out of Jordan. The awards strengthen the educational sector by disseminating a culture of excellence and continuous development as distinguished educators are motivated to become agents of change in their communities.
In recognition of the critical role education plays in developing a productive and informed society and the role educators play in instilling the values of excellence in successive generations, QRA promotes educators' status in society. QRA aims to restore teaching as a noble profession, reminding society of the great respect Arab culture reserves for teachers.
The awards are currently aimed at public school teachers and principals, and more recently, at school counselors. QRA works with over fifty partners, supporters and sponsors from the public, private and civil society sectors to ensure information about the award opportunity reaches more than 3,600 public schools, 3,600 principals, 2,000 counselors and more than 78,000 teachers across the Kingdom. Approximately 1,300 teachers and 300 principals apply each year, among whom around 25-30 teachers and 5-10 principals win awards.
Distinguished Teacher Award: QRA assess teachers based on a set of nine criteria. The criteria used to assess applicants are robust and have been carefully developed by a national team of education experts and government officials. The nine criteria include the teacher’s personal philosophy, instructional effectiveness, resource management, sustainable professional self-development, parents and local community involvement, work ethics; creativity and innovation, evaluation, and achievements. Each criterion is weighted according to its importance For example, effectiveness of teaching accounts for 25% of the total score.
Distinguished Principal Award: QRA assesses principals based on a set of 8 criteria: leadership, strategic planning, resource and knowledge management, operational management, student and stakeholder mobilization, sustainable professional self-development, evaluation, and achievements. Similar to the Distinguished Teacher Award, each criterion is weighted according to its importance; for example, “resource and knowledge management” accounts for 15% of the total score.
Distinguished Counselor Award: QRA assesses school counselors that are either nominated by the local community or self-nominated based on a set of five criteria which cover leadership, work ethic, sustainable professional self-development, the counseling process, and local community relations and partnerships. Again, each criterion is weighted according to its importance; for example, the counseling process accounts for 45% of the total score.
QRA has a positive impact on teachers’ attitudes and willingness to excel, even among non-winners; 74% of unsuccessful applicants reported that the award process had motivated them to be better teachers. More than 660 professional development opportunities were granted to winners, including 50 scholarships. Over 76 QRA award winning teachers have progressed in the MoE’s professional ranking system and 47 career promotions have been granted to QRA award-winning educators. Approximately 1,400 teachers and 300 principals apply for each award round (approximately each year). In 2014, the year the distinguished counselor award was first introduced, over 150 applied.
QRA contributes to the education sector knowledge base by annually issuing reports to the MoE and 21 faculties of Educational Sciences in public and private universities. These reports review the performance of applicants to the award based on the criteria with the aim of giving universities feedback on the weaknesses and strengths of the education professions.
“Winning the award has sparked excitement at my school— teachers want to attend training sessions and develop.”