The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund (REF) has announced a new first-of-its-kind partnership with Discovery Education to deliver award-winning online learning, increasing access to education for thousands of refugees and vulnerable youth in Lebanon.
The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Covid-19 Online Learning Emergency Fund for Refugee Education, was launched by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair in April 2020 to ensure vulnerable populations are able to continue their learning without interruption. This partnership with Discovery Education will help fill the educational gaps that have emerged because of the COVID -19 crisis. This program will reach 5,000 at-risk students in addition to over 17,500 students already being helped by REF in Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE.
As part of the partnership with the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, and for the first time ever, Discovery Education will collaborate with local organizations in Lebanon to provide access to high-quality digital learning resources aligned to the Lebanese curriculum for students in Grade 8 – 12. This partnership is a component of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund’s effort to help 5,000 refugees and marginalized youth communities transition to Grades 9 and 12 and give them a chance to succeed when sitting the critical Lebanese national examinations.
Discovery Education will also provide Professional Learning to 100 teachers to address the challenges of remote instruction, enabling them to access a diverse set of new digital tools to help them deliver online lessons to students effectively. Through a series of online workshops, including but not limited to remote classroom management, effective teaching strategies for enhancing learning with digital resources will be offered. Participating teachers will also become part of Discovery Educator Network, an online community of practice comprised of educators from all over the globe.
The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Covid-19 Online Learning Emergency Fund for Refugee Education will also provide students access to devices and internet connections to ensure their Discovery Education experience is not obstructed by any technical difficulty or lack of equipment.
As students in Lebanon continue to face multi-faceted challenges with an unprecedented high risk of dropping out of school, this first of its kind partnership between Discovery Education and The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund comes in a timely manner.
The increase in dropouts from secondary education amongst refugees is alarming, whereby less than 2% of Syrian refugees complete their secondary education. This program will help students catch up on the education they have missed – on and off since October 2019 – through interactive and creative online tools and pedagogies.
H.E Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education and founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund said: “The economic crisis followed by the pandemic and the devastating blast in Beirut has forced Lebanon to adapt to a new challenging reality. We are proud of this partnership with Discovery Education as digital education is the new go to solution for education, this program ensures refugees and vulnerable youth have effective access to high quality education that they would not have otherwise.”
Robin Headlee, managing director of Discovery Education International said: “Refugees and vulnerable youth in Lebanon have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year, which have posed several risks to their access to education. We strongly believe that no child or young person’s education should be halted due to external factors which are beyond their control. That’s why we are doing our part to ensure these young people have the opportunity to continue their education online, in order for them to catch-up on their development and not be held back in the future. I am delighted that what started out as a kernel of an idea by two like-minded organizations has resulted in this practical, proactive and tangible project.”
The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, managed by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, aims to benefit 20,000 refugee youth in Jordan, Lebanon and conflict-affected children residing in the United Arab Emirates by 2022. The Fund supports high-impact education programs at the secondary, vocational, and tertiary levels of education for refugee youth in Jordan and Lebanon. The fund awards grants through a competitive selection process to education institutions and non-governmental organizations working with refugee and conflict affected children and youth. To date, the Fund is supporting 10 organizations who are collectively reaching over 17,000 refugee and vulnerable youth. Programs are based on emerging needs and focus on secondary and vocational educational streams.
The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, launched in 2015, supports the provision of high-quality education opportunities for Emirati and Arab youth across the Arab region. As one of the largest privately funded philanthropic organizations in the region, AGFE focuses on promoting education for elevated livelihoods ensuring that today’s youth have access to tomorrow’s opportunities and can positively contribute to the region’s development.