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Global education leaders promote SEL through QFI partnership

Tribune News Network
To celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness, Qatar Foundation International (QFI), a US-based member of Qatar Foundation, has joined partners, including Salzburg Global Seminar, ETS and Microsoft Education, to promote the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) for children.
In a Salzburg Global Seminar statement released on March 20 on SEL, there is a shared understanding that for adults to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world, children require ‘soft skills’ such as communication and collaboration in order to foster dignity, respect and a sense of connectedness that also benefits communities and nations.
The statement was compiled by over 75 education leaders, academics and practitioners, and has been translated into Arabic by QFI.
QFI Executive Director Maggie Mitchell Salem said, “We believe it is essential to advance SEL, given our mission of building cross-cultural understanding across geographic boundaries. If SEL is more explicitly included in all types of learning, individuals are better able to confidently navigate an increasingly interdependent world and communities become more resilient.”
In the statement, Salzburg Global Seminar – a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting current and future leaders by connecting local innovators with global resources – says its main focus is to make a case for the systemic application of SEL in curriculum and to promote best practices for transformative education reform around the world.
Dominic Regester, programme director at Salzburg Global Seminar, said: “The skills and competencies that SEL programmes can help all learners develop are valuable for the economies of tomorrow; for fairer, kinder, more inclusive societies; for psychological well-being; and for helping to achieve better learning outcomes for all students, especially the most vulnerable.”
Dr Carine Allaf, senior programme advisor at QFI, said: “We translated the statement into Arabic in recognition of the needs of millions of refugees and migrants, especially those who are Arabic-speakers, who have suffered severe trauma, including the loss of family and friends. SEL can be used by humanitarian workers and volunteers in home and host communities to help displaced children and adults.”
This is the third year that QFI has supported Salzburg Global Seminar’s ‘Education for Tomorrow’ programme. Additional programme partners include the British Council, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Porticus and the Inter-American Development Bank.