Bahrain Egypt Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Morocco Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Tunisia United Arab Emirates YemenAlgeria Youth@ Work Regional Conference21st-23rd of February, 2012Service Learning sessionLeen Abdel JaberInjaz El Djazair
INJAZ al-Arab INJAZ al-Arab is a non-profit organization that harnesses the mentorship of Arab business leaders to help inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and business innovation among Arab youth. It is a confederation of national operations collaborating with corporate volunteers and governments to promote work readiness,financial literacy, entrepreneurship,and analytical thinking.
Our Focus • Operating in 14 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region • Equips students with practical business-related skills as part of the regular educational curriculum • Brings successful business leaders into the classroom to teach the next generation of entrepreneurs • Introduces innovation, critical thinking, and business concepts into the public school curriculum • Promotes Corporate volunteerism and public private partnerships
Educational Pillars Workforce Readiness Entrepreneurship Financial Literacy Citizenship Economics Business Ethics/Character • 29% Start up rate among students who participate in the Company Program • 83% of students felt INJAZ programmes considerably strengthened their abilities in problem-solving and teamwork and enhanced their understanding of entrepreneurship
Our Reach • INJAZ is part of an international network in 122 countries • INJAZ started in Jordan in 1999 • INJAZ endorsed by 13 Arab governments • Program trained over a 700,000 students to 2010. • Over 10,000 corporate volunteers
Injaz Courses • Company Program: In a group-based program providing practical exposure, students set up a company, choose an industry, conduct market research, raise capital, produce and sell a product or service, maintain company records then divest it at the end of the semester. • Success Skills: Develops students’ interpersonal effectiveness through self-assessment of personal strengths, examines how such skills match careers of interest and teaches personal marketing methods. • Entrepreneurial Master Class: A one day session that encourages students to think about starting their own business as a career option and to identify the key entrepreneurial skills required
2007 Palestine 2008 Kuwait 2009 Oman 2010 Lebanon 2011 Palestine Generation Entrepreneur!
Qualitative Study on the INJAZ AL ARAB COMPANY PROGRAMA team from Harvard University and the Dubai School of Governance INITIAL QUESTION: What are the benefits and weaknesses of the Injaz Company Program? The Alumni Perspective
Six Preliminary Findings There is strong evidence that THE INJAZ AL ARAB COMPANY PROGRAM • Develops a consciousness in youth regarding their future plans • Develops 21st Century Skills in participants • Identifies importance of linking theory with practice in education • Reveals benefit of private sector support • Develops a unique business mindset in participants • Reveals several societal roadblocks to success
3. Identifies importance of linking theoryto practice in education, part 1 Helps a prospective employee stand out “Even if I ever had to apply for a job--which is something that I am hoping not to do-- I know that I will stand out, because I have knowledge AND experience.” Aids in internalizing information and in knowing how to apply it in the real world “At school or university, you are taught the material theoretically and do not apply what you have learned, so you simply forget what you have studied. Even if you don’t forget, you don’t know how to apply what you learned. In Injaz, you apply what you learn in the projects. This way you never forget what you have learned.” Practice without theory isn’t ideal “I think Injaz helped me to go far beyond the realms of any textbook, but at the same time I would not have succeeded at Injaz if I had not read all the sections of my textbook. “
3. Identifies importance of linking theoryto practice in education, part 2 Theory + practice – Develops skills “The Injaz experience has tremendously changed me. Injaz helped me at the beginning through the classes and lectures that we took, the theories that we learned. And when we started applying and practicing what we learned in class, my skills became much more developed.” Increases the amount of information and skills learned “It taught me people skills that I wouldn’t have learned by just learning business in school.” Practice helps clarify the theory “You can see the results and you can do ideas you can get ideas and implement them in your business and then when you go back to your business class in school you realize what the theories actually mentioned are what you were doing. So it’s very different with a company, because you can see the results of the different styles; you can see the results of everything that you do. “
“Skill gains” through Service (examples): • Reflection (including "Critical Reflection" to question their assumptions and behaviors). • Collaborative leadership. • Communication and team work. • Problem solving. • Self expression and reporting (including journal) • Monitoring and Evaluation. • "Attitude gains" through Service Learning (examples): • Civic engagement • Civic responsibility. • Work ethics. • Active listening. • Others: Service learning connect theory with practice (project theme + substantive knowledge). • All these skills are very important for the youth practical life (life skills).
How can service learning be encouraged among youth in Jordan and other MENA countries • Key Facts • Educational system is not structured to encourage experimental/practical education. • High unemployment rates (especially university graduates) in Jordan and MENA. • Growing private sector and civil society with skills gap. • Migrant workers (remittances) • High educational rates with education appreciation culture. Private schooling is open to extra-curricular activities. • What to do? • Identify stakeholders. • Introduce the concept of Service Learning to education institutes and media. • Provide material and resources to educational institutes (database). • Document successful stories and make them public. • Introduce innovative approaches for Service Learning (prizes for researchers and practitioners). • Partnership with enterprises/civil society (internship programs). • Create opportunities and access to them.
How can this concept be scaled up to a national level? Recommendations: • Encourage governments to include Service Learning in their "human" development plans. • Encourage Ministry of Labor to include Service Learning in their training/learning initiatives. • Encourage researchers and practitioners to develop Service Learning tools and mechanisms. • Establish Service Learning centers at the educational institutes and engage Ministry of Education/High Education. • Engage the parents and make them part of the process (parents assemblies). • Engage the youth leaders, civil society, private/public sector and media. • National volunteer corps in partnership with United Nations (UNDP) is a good idea. • These efforts and stakeholders can be put together through a national/regional movement or network for Service Learning for youth. Annual conference involving all stakeholders.