Tech Hub: Teacher training

Every child has the right to A safe place to learn,
We work to help young people develop Skills for the future

About the project

Challenge

Refugee children are five times less likely to be in school than other young people. When Covid-19 caused schools to close across Lebanon, children throughout the country, including Syrian refugees and disadvantaged Lebanese, faced the loss of their education.

Approach

Teachers at the Mtein and Taalabaya public schools were better placed to adapt than most in Lebanon, thanks to the Tech Hub programme which began in 2016. A partnership between Theirworld, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and Rumie, it had already been training teachers in the use of digital technology for four years.

Impact

The two schools were able to pivot quickly to online teaching, lessening the interruption to children’s learning. It was another success for a programme that has reached more than 5,000 children and over 200 teachers.

A precious thing

40% of the world’s 79.5 million refugees are children; it means more children are displaced now than at any time since World War II. For Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and disadvantaged Lebanese youth, the opportunity for an education is a precious thing. 

But the global pandemic that swept the world in 2020 meant schools throughout the country were shut down, threatening the learning of every child. Two of those affected were Mtein and Taalabaya public schools in the Mount Lebanon region.

Theirworld first began working in the region in 2015, launching a snack programme at Mtein school which helped ensure malnourished children had the energy to concentrate in school. Then, in 2016, we began working with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and Rumie on the Tech Hub programme to improve technological skills for Lebanese and Syrian students, as well as the training of teachers, at Mtein and Taalabaya schools.

Over the course of the programme, Tech Hub has helped more than 5,000 students receive an education, and trained over 200 teachers.

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Tech Hub training meant Mtein teacher Juliana Mrad could help her school adapt quickly to online learning when Covid-19 closed schools.

For parent Nour Abdul Rahman, it saved the most important thing in her life: the education of her four children.

Continuing their learning

Funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Tech Hub initiative meant that the schools’ teachers were well-placed to be able to switch quickly to delivering online learning during Covid-19.

But while DOT provided training to show teachers how to deliver lessons remotely, it soon became clear that some students lacked access to computers or mobile devices.

Theirworld approved additional support, providing Rumie learning tablets to students in the crucial 14 to 16 age range. DOT undertook efforts to explain to parents and caregivers the benefit of students being able to take part in remote lessons, and helped them learn how to use the devices themselves.

While the pandemic sadly left many Lebanese schools struggling to adapt to lockdown, students at Mtein and Tabalaya were able to continue their learning as a direct result of the Tech Hub programme. It means that in a period of great instability these young people can have the hope that they’ll still be able to create their own futures.

Education provides the best route out of poverty, inequality and instability, which is why it’s so important for displaced and disadvantaged children. Initiatives like Tech Hub demonstrate the importance of ensuring every child has a safe place to learn.

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