A brand-new partnership between the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund (REF) and Discovery Education is set to deliver award-winning e-learning to children in Lebanon, significantly boosting access to quality education for thousands of refugees and vulnerable youth across the country.
First established by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair in April this year, the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair COVID-19 Online Learning Emergency Fund for Refugee Education seeks to ensure that disadvantaged people are able to pursue learning with minimal disruption. Both Discovery Education and the REF hope the project will help to address the educational gaps that have been accentuated by the COVID-19 crisis. The programme will assist 5,000 at-risk students, alongside over 17,500 learners already being helped by the REF in Jordan, Lebanon and the UAE.
As part of the partnership, Discovery Education will collaborate with local Lebanese organisations to provide access to quality and reliable e-learning materials, aligned with the Lebanese curriculum, for students in Grade 8–12. The venture forms part of the REF’s effort to help refugees and marginalised youth navigate the education system, giving them a chance to succeed when it comes to sitting critical national exams.
On top of this, Discovery Education will provide continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities for 100 teachers to address the challenges of remote instruction, granting them access to diverse digital tools that will enable both them and their students to thrive. After participating in a series of digital workshops, including but not limited to remote classroom management and effective remote teaching strategies, teachers will become part of the Discovery Educator Network – an online community of practice comprised of educators from all over the world.
The REF will also offer students access to devices and internet connections to ensure they can continue their education free from technical difficulty or lack of equipment.
Considering that secondary school dropouts among refugees are steadily on the rise, the project has come at a crucial time. According to figures from Human Rights Watch (HRW), less than 2% of Syrian refugees complete their education. The aim is for the project to help boost these rates, allowing students to catch up on learning they’ve missed – on and off since October 2019 – through interactive and creative online tools and pedagogies.
H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the REF, commented: “The economic crisis, followed by the pandemic and the devastating blast in Beirut has forced Lebanon to adapt to a new challenging reality. We are proud of this partnership with Discovery Education as digital education is the new go-to solution for education. This programme ensures refugees and vulnerable youth have effective access to high quality education that they would not have otherwise.”