Dadaab refugee camp students will now access quality education just like children in other parts of the country in a partnership meant to bring transformative mobile-based education programmes to pupils at 13 schools.
Thanks to The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Vodafone Foundation and Safaricom Instant Network Schools at Dadaab refugee camp will offer learning programmes to 18,000 young refugees between the ages of seven and 20 years.
The announcement came as the world marked the ‘World Teachers Day’ to honor the teaching profession and call for quality education. The project that will eventually significantly transform the lives of at least 65,000 children in Dadaab will be a platform that will enable child refugees and teachers’ access digital educational content as well as the internet.
As part of their studies, pupils will use the technology to make contact with school children and professionals in other countries. A total of 378 teachers in Dadaab will be trained to provide tablet-based education programmes.
Safaricom is providing connectivity across all the13 solar-powered schools donated by Vodafone Foundation, while telecommunications equipment company Huawei has donated 235 tablets to the programme.
Statistics from UNHCR indicate that as of April last year, the population in Dadaab stood at 423,496 registered refugees with 58 percent being below the age of 18 years. There were 16.7 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2013 and 50 per cent of them are under the age of 18. Tablet-based learning programmes will provide many of the children in Dadaab with an unlimited information resource that they would otherwise not have had.
Many school-age children arrive at the camp with no prior education and school enrolment remains low. UNHCR has found that, of the 279,000 children living in Dadaab, 41 per cent are enrolled in primary schools and only 8.5 per cent are in secondary education.
UNHCR Representative in Kenya Raouf Mazou said: “We are happy with this partnership which brings technology to our education system. Education is central in the lives of refugees since it is the most important thing that they can carry home. We are committed to ensure the success of the project.”