As a parent, I know how central education is to the ‘growing up’ experience. New friends, new perspectives, life lessons – these are what I hear about every day when my kids come home from school.
A classroom provides a safe, supportive space where a child can learn about the world, interact with peers, and feel a bit of normality. It’s a place where it’s okay to ‘dream big’ and a bright future seems possible. But every day, millions of children miss out on the opportunity to attend school and to learn those skills. Half of all out-of-school children live in countries affected by conflict.
Our new partnership with Save the Children, Every Child Learning, aims to improve access to quality education for children who have been affected or displaced by conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies - starting with a pilot in Jordan, which has experienced one of the worst refugee crises in history as a result of war in neighboring Syria.
It's a project that'll take us out of our comfort zone, and that’s a good thing. We don’t typically operate in places where disaster and conflict is a daily reality, yet it is exactly in the places where education has been abandoned that we have the potential to help.
That potential isn't about the traditional philanthropic model in which businesses make a donation to a charity and observe project activity from the sidelines. Rather, it's about being active participants in assessing needs, identifying gaps, and co-creating solutions for the difficult challenge of providing reliable learning opportunities to vulnerable and displaced children.
Every Child Learning combines Pearson’s expertise in delivering educational products and services at scale with Save the Children’s experience running education programmes in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Together, we’re aiming to create much more than a stopgap intervention – the long-term ambition is to develop new models and ways of working that leverage the core competencies of the private sector and improve the quality of education in emergency and post-conflict settings.
Ultimately, Every Child Learning is about building innovative learning solutions that can be adapted and scaled in similar contexts around the world, creating Shared Value. What we learn in the context of our pilot initiative in Jordan, we’ll seek to apply elsewhere, so that we help to ensure the cost of conflict isn't counted in empty classrooms and lost generations.
You can find out more information at https://www.pearson.com/
Amanda leads our work with organisations and people that share our vision that education can build a better world. Connect with her on Twitter - @Amanda_Gardiner