In emergency situations, how can educational outcomes for children and youth be improved?

Posted by Theresa Brooks on 23 Jun, 2018

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The Rumie Initiative - Tablet with a preloaded library

Posted by Margie Gutierrez on 04 Oct, 2018

The Rumie Initiative is unlike other tech-focused companies. As a non-profit its work is focused on sustainable and long-lasting impact instead of stock prices and lead generation. The company, based in Toronto, provides youth across the globe with up-to-date digital educational learning resources through solar-powered tablets and is slowly becoming a leader in the growing global education marketplace.

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Sputnique: Solar school in a backpack

Posted by Vivek Mehta on 23 Jun, 2018

There are setups like refugee camp, temporary settlements where a school structure is often not possible. In coastal areas like Bangladesh, where natural disaster is frequent, schools get destroyed or being shut down for months. There are 40 thousands primary schools in Bangladesh alone that are located in off-grid areas. Sputnique - a solar run backpack with internet connected multimedia classroom set up can bring the school right at the children's neighborhood with low operating cost.

Sputnique is a product developed by Light of Hope, the largest education-based social enterprise in Bangladesh. Sputnique allows teachers, educators and development professionals working with education to provide access to high quality education to the children located in most remote locations. It’s a completely solar-powered and internet connected multimedia setup that allows to take class remotely and take online class from another place. This an all-in-one solution that has the capacity to connect multiple classrooms or schools even through slow or weak internet with amazing user convenience and ability to respond to technical problems on real time. It has a flexible design so that organizations can adjust and modify the system according to their need. 

It helps organizations to respond to education problem during crisis or emergency situation when setting physical schools and getting teachers to take class regularly are difficult. Sputnique offers B2B sale (to organizations, NGOs, non-profits, Govt. etc) that makes it sustainable and with scale there are opportunities when it can offer services in B2C strategy (directly to schools). Sputnique is not a product just for education during emergency. But it will be used for regular times in other projects like healthcare, agriculture or other development project that involves training, capacity building, awareness. It helps organizations to reduce their human resource cost to train large number of people, help them to do it faster and without much logistical problem, allowing for scaling and sustenance.

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Ubongo Learn Anywhere Kits for Localized Kid-Centric Learning in Emergencies

Posted by Theresa Brooks on 23 Jun, 2018

The UN estimates that 25 million children are missing out on school in areas of conflict and crisis. Yet education is not something that can be paused then resumed when situations settle. Early childhood and early adolescence are periods of extensive brain development, and the learning that occurs in these years sets a person's trajectory for life.

 In conflict and displacement situations where formal schooling is not possible, or of low quality, we need rapidly deployable informal learning.

Ubongo is a non-profit social enterprise based in Tanzania that produces edutainment for kids in Africa. Its innovation is a multimedia learning kit with localized and effective content, which can be used to facilitate learnings clubs for children in emergencies. The kits contains video, audio and text content including Ubongo’s popular edutainment programs currently watched in over 5.1 million households in East Africa, as well as a facilitator’s guide and activities for club leaders to engage kids in active learning.

Ubongo’s preschool edu-cartoon Akili and Me helps 3-5 year olds learn numeracy, pre-literacy, socio-emotional skills and English as a second language, shown to have a 12% effect on kids' school readiness in just one month of viewing. Ubongo Kids teaches STEM subjects and life skills through fun stories and songs, and kids who watch it show immediate direct learning outcomes in the subjects taught. These multiplatform learning programs include over 1690 minutes of video content, 580 minutes of educational audio and songs and 36 eBooks, with content in Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, English and French, as well as easy adaptation packages to quickly develop versions in new languages. 

Their plan is to first implement with children in Nyaragusu refugee camp, working with the community to form locally managed kids’ clubs that use their content both at existing sites with screening tech (like video bandas that show football matches) and in new sites with low-cost battery powered projectors. This low cost model can be sustained through community partnerships & sponsorship.

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'Fire Up!': A Refugee-Run Girls Education Programme

Posted by Francesca Sereni on 23 Jun, 2018

Nearly 15,000 refugee girls (between the ages of five to eighteen) from Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo live in Kampala, the largest site of refugee self-settlement in Uganda. 60% of these girls are out of school, compared to 40% of boys. These are young women who have missed multiple years of school, have lost their school certificates or transcripts or have ones that are not recognized in Uganda, and struggle to adapt to education in a new language.

In response to OpenIdeo's 'education emergencies' challenge, Robert Hakiza from Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID), a refugee-led, non-governmtna organization, proposed a high-impact foundation course that uses mentoring and dual-language instruction to increase girls’ access to, and success within, education in Kampala. This bottom-up and family-wide approach mobilizes community resources to address linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers simultaneously. 

They offer a year-long foundation course, divided into two levels: Level II for girls who have completed or nearly finished primary school, and Level I for girls who are three or more years away from finishing primary. The course is co-taught by a Ugandan national and a teacher from the refugee community. Classes are held at local primary schools to help students adjust to the Ugandan school schedule and curricular demands and begin to integrate into the wider school community. They plan to open a library at their existing community center, to give refugee girls additional materials in English and a safe place to study after the program in the evenings. At the same time, they will give parents whose girls are enrolled in the foundation course, access to trainings on how to save money and participate in a savings group, so that they can support their girls’ long-term success in education until graduation. 

YARID recruits community mentors to support its learners. The mentors have weekly home visits with refugee parents, which are pivotal to changing cultural beliefs about girls’ education, ensuring home lives are supporting students.

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