Boosting English Language Training for Tomorrow’s Economy
August 9, 2012 by GE
The Middle East is at a demographic turning point. Many countries are reaching the peak of their ‘youth bulges’ – usually defined as a high proportion of 15-to-29 year olds relative to the adult population. Equipping young people with good jobs may be one of the single greatest issues facing the economies of the region. According to estimates from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the League of Arab States, the region's economies will need to create around 51 million jobs by 2020 to meet the demand of the total unemployed and those entering the workforce.
With English language proficiency linked to expanded opportunities for youth and improved business performance in the region, the need for qualified English teachers is now more critical than ever. A recent survey carried out across MENA shows that 94% of the English teachers within the region expressed a clear need for new, rigorous teacher certificate programs.
In response to these needs, GE Foundation has supported the American Educational Organization (AMIDEAST) to address the severe shortage of certified English language teachers at a time when MENA educational systems cannot meet the demand and training needed. With the support of GE Foundation, AMIDEAST is tackling this issue by offering new training programs for English teachers in six countries: Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Iraq.
AMIDEAST has developed an internationally recognized program entitled the Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching (PCELT). This program is a vehicle for improving the quality of English language teaching across schools in the Middle East and North Africa. Support from GE Foundation has enabled AMIDEAST to accelerate the implementation of this initiative in order to make it available to the region’s teachers, particularly in public school systems that stand to benefit most.
Access to English Language Training will equip today’s youth with better jobs and strengthen the economy. We congratulate recent graduates of the PCELT program by AMIDEAST who are working towards a brighter future.