Photo: © Norwegian Refugee Council
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Jordan currently hosts more than 660,000 registered Syrian refugees, 22% of which are estimated to live in formal refugee camps. Amongst the registered refugee population more than 120,000 Syrian refugees are youth aged between 15 to 24 years. Displacement of youth at such a critical life stage can disrupt their development trajectory, shatter their plans for the future, and lead to a sense of hopelessness, frustration, and disappointment. In Jordan, Syrian youth have lost many of the options they had to continue their education.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Youth Program works in host communities and camps to provide refugee and Jordanian youth with learning and development opportunities aimed at supporting youth in finding sustainable employment, engaging meaningfully with their communities, and bridging to further education and training opportunities. Technology enables displaced youth to access high quality content and learn anywhere, anytime. The program includes a number of national and international education providers who offer educational content, assessment, and certification of courses. Among them is Arizona State University (ASU), a higher education institution based in the United States which currently enrolls over 100,000 students between on campus and online courses.
In 2017, NRC partnered with ASU to introduce certified digital English language courses for non-native speakers. The program, currently in the pilot phase in Zaatari and Azraq camps, uses a blended learning approach to train local Syrian facilitators to support learners onsite while experts from ASU in the U.S. facilitate and support the course through tech-enabled distance learning and regular visits to the camps. The program provides a sustainable, flexible, and cost-effective solution for language learning, with international and transferrable certification.
Key Takeaways for Attendees:
- How to use blended learning approach to support education of displaced and host community youth;
- How to partner with ASU to provide English language learning courses;
- How to integrate technology solutions and design bite-size educational offerings that can lead to certification.
Leila Toplic, NLG Tech Task Force
Raed Sawalha, Youth Camps Programme Manager, NRC
Nick Sabato, Director, Education for Humanity Initiative, Arizona State University