Queen Rania: ‘No goal is more important than empowering teachers’

The Jordanian royal paid tribute to King Abdullah II's passion for education as she inaugurated her namesake teachers' academy

Queen Rania and King Abdullah visit the new premises of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy on January 27, 2019. Courtesy Queen Rania / Facebook
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It marks its 10-year anniversary this year, but that's not the only milestone for the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) in 2019. The non-profit organisation, first launched by Queen Rania of Jordan in 2009, celebrated the official opening of its new premises at the University of Jordan in Amman this week.

For the occasion, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania made a visit on Sunday to inaugurate the campus, which offers training programmes, professional development for educators, and conducts education policy research, among other services.

Following a tour of the premises, which include 34 classrooms, lecture halls, computer labs and a library, Queen Rania delivered an address, thanking those involved for their hard work in getting the new campus up and running.

"Over the past 20 years, I have met with thousands of teachers. I saw in each of them the hopes of an entire generation – the collective ambitions of parents, and the future of a nation. That is why we established the teacher training academy," the royal said.

"Many of you here know that the academy’s journey was not free of obstacles and challenges, nor of criticism… Neither was it a small investment," Queen Rania added, thanking the governments of Jordan and Kuwait for their financial aid.

The royal also paid tribute to her husband, King Abdullah, praising his enduring support with the establishment of the academy.

"When I faltered, you offered a steadying hand and reassured me that getting back up is the only way forward, and that this journey is worth the struggle," Queen Rania said. "You are always generous with your advice when my doubts get the better of me. And, above all else, you reinforce my faith, every day, in the importance of educating our children and supporting their teachers."

The royal also commended Jordan's educators, whether experienced or aspiring, revealing, "No goal is more important to me than empowering teachers".

"There is no one more worthy of our resources, time, and effort than the person standing at the front of the classroom – the teacher who spends a third of her day with our children," she said.

The QRTA, which offers training programmes in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Teachers College at Columbia University, launched its Teacher Education Professional Diploma (TEPD) in 2016.

Two classes of TEPD alumni have so far graduated, with 800 more teachers in training. The academy aims to train 1,500 teachers in 2020, increasing to 3,000 teachers in 2021.

"No one is more worthy of the responsibility of educating future generations than those who have chosen to learn in order to teach," stated Queen Rania during the inauguration.

"Our teachers are your soldiers, and they are here today, arming themselves with the knowledge and determination to bring up generations who are confident and capable of conquering the challenges of their time."