Washington, DC, March 20, 2019 – To celebrate the UN’s International Day of Happiness, Qatar Foundation International (QFI) joins Salzburg Global Seminar, ETS, Microsoft Education and other partners to promote the necessity of social and emotional learning (SEL) for all children.
In the Salzburg statement on SEL released today, there is a shared understanding that for adults to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world, the so-called “soft skills” children most need — such as communication and collaboration — foster dignity, respect, and a sense of connectedness that also benefits communities and nations. The statement is the work of over 75 education leaders, academics, and practitioners.
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 released today, Salzburg Global cites its main focus as making a case for the systemic application of SEL in curriculum and to promote best practices for transformative education reform around the world. “The skills and competencies that SEL programs can help all learners develop are valuable for the economies of tomorrow, for fairer, kinder, more inclusive societies, for psychological wellbeing and for helping to achieve better learning outcomes for all students, but especially the most vulnerable,” says Dominic Regester, Program Director at Salzburg Global.
QFI Senior Program Advisor Dr. Carine Allaf noted, “We decided to translate the statement to Arabic in recognition of the needs of millions of refugees and migrants, especially those who are Arabic speaking and 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.”
The Salzburg Global Seminar is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting current and future leaders by connecting local innovators with global resources. This is the third year that QFI has supported Salzburg Global Seminar’s “Education for Tomorrow” Program. Additional program partners include the British Council, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Porticus, and the Inter-American Development Bank.