Vodafone Greece Foundation have “repurposed” Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Classroom technology during lockdown in Lesvos to enable remote learning for young refugees, as classrooms have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, reports that it has disrupted schooling and education for almost 1.6 billion children and youth around the world, with governments introducing total or partial school closures in efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
In these challenging times, displaced and refugee students are at a particular disadvantage, as they are less likely to be able to access distance learning and support services, leaving them at an even greater risk of falling behind.
In Greece, the local Vodafone Foundation, together with their partner SOS Children’s Villages, have temporarily handed over Instant Classroom tablets to refugee families living in Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesvos to support continued access to education with the remote schooling of children.
50 students now have an individual account at Google classroom and they stay connected with their school and teachers, attending daily classes.
This means young refugees like Farzana, aged 9, can pursue an education during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I go to school because when I grow up I want to be the best doctor in the world and not let anyone be sick for a long time,” says Farzana.
A remote remedial support scheme has also been created, to virtually assist students in maths and language classes.
They are also trying to improve network at the camp, as at the moment they are using the Lesvos University Wi-Fi.
Popi Gkliva, Emergency Response Program Manager at SOS Children’s Villages, said, “Technology offers us the opportunity to give these children the chance to get to know what school is, to socialise with other children of their age and to get even closer to their dreams.”
Vodafone Foundation is UNHCR’s largest corporate partner in Connected Education, and is continuing to work together through this difficult time to support refugee students and their communities to ensure no refugee children and youth are left behind.
To date, Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR’s Instant Network Schools programme has benefitted over 86,500 students across sub-Saharan Africa, and the programme has been expanded to reach more than 500,000 young refugees.
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