Syrian and Lebanese children learn side by side. Photo by Adam Patterson/Panos/DFID
At the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference held last February, donor agencies, governments, civil society and the private sector pledged to get 1.7 million children – all refugee children and vulnerable children in host communities – into quality education with equal access for girls and boys. Attendees at the conference pledged to back this initiative with $1.4 billion dollars in funding. As the numbers stand currently, 534,000 Syrian refugee school-age children and adolescents are out of school and host communities are struggling to provide quality education for all.
It is important to ensure quality education for these 1.7 million children so that there is No Lost Generation. Education is a right that the international community and governments should work together to ensure for children throughout the world. With the conflict in Syria creating chaos in the lives of millions of people, access to education is something that can be dismissed. If education is not provided, then these children will not learn the essential skills and knowledge that they will need in an evolving workforce. Without education, this generation of children will lose out on being able to rebuild and strengthen their communities post-crisis.
Last week, the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference took place in Brussels; GBC-Education would like to remind donors that #YouPromised to ensure quality education for 1.7 million children, and that that goal has not yet been met. At the end of last week’s conference, participants agreed to continue to work towards the target of ensuring No Lost Generation of children. The international community must fulfill this goal and must not forget the children who are losing out on education. Fortunately, many private sector organizations are responding to this call to action.
GBC-Education member HP has been playing a key role in ensuring quality education for the generation of children who need it most. HP has been active in Lebanon. For example, HP has been assisting double shift school programs by providing laptops to enhance refugee education.
HP has also committed to provide technology and HP LIFE training resources to the International Medical Corps Livelihoods Center pilot in Istanbul, Turkey. As part of this initiative, HP committed to make online freelance opportunities available to refugees. In the video below, HP and refugee students share perspectives on quality education opportunities at the Livelihoods Center in Istanbul.
In September 2016, HP announced a commitment to open HP Learning Studios in the Middle East. Working with Digital Promise Global, the Global Business Coalition for Education, Microsoft and Intel, HP established centers equipped with computer systems and teacher training services to give refugee students access to the latest education technology and provide adults with the opportunity to learn essential business and IT skills.
In total, HP has committed more than $1 million in technology and training support to help refugees, alleviate poverty, and improve the lives of more than 100,000 children and adults in 2017.