No Lost Generation EdTech Summit Showcases the Role of Technology and Business in Education in Crisis
Photo by ITWORX Education.
From March 1-2, the #NoLostGeneration EdTech Summit took place in Amman, Jordan. The summit was held in response to the crisis in Syria, a conflict that has led to the disruption of education for millions of Syrian children. At the summit, tech companies and civil society organizations looked at ways that technology could address education in crisis.
The #NoLostGeneration initiative was established in 2013 to focus attention on children affected by the Syrian crisis. The initiative puts education and child protection at the center of the response inside Syria and across 5 refugee hosting countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt).
At the summit, Senior Advisor to GBC-Education and former UK ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher delivered an address in a pre-recording at the summit about the REACT Database as one tool to bridge the educational gap for millions of children impacted by crisis.
“We at GBC-Education established the Rapid Education Action (REACT) Database in response to Education Cannot Wait (a global fund established in 2016 to prioritize education in humanitarian action). This database is the means through which companies can pledge time, practical in-kind support, and financial support,” said Tom Fletcher.
“We can connect these companies to actors who are in the field, such as the UN, NGOs, individuals, or head teachers. We hoped to create a database that cuts out many of the transactions that would slow down these interactions.”
GBC-Education was well represented at the summit, with member companies Microsoft and ITWORX Education playing important roles.
Microsoft sponsored the summit in addition to showcasing their education technology at the conference. Microsoft is currently supporting refugee education efforts in Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Jordan. Through its support of Nethope, Microsoft has helped bring connectivity services to Syrian refugees.
Mr. Fletcher spoke about ITWORX, celebrating the fact that ITWORX was one of the first companies to register their time and expertise in REACT. During the summit, ITWORX showcased their educational technology that is helping refugee youth gain access to education, even as these children’s lives are disrupted by conflict.
ITWORX Education conducted a presentation about the projects they implemented in Lebanon and Turkey to enable access to education for Syrian kids. These projects include Winjigo, an online education platform that connects instructors and learners. In addition, ITWORX presented on an upcoming crowdfunding campaign to provide access to education for 10,000+ students.
In 2016, there were 5.4 million children inside Syria, including 2.1 million who are out of school, and 1.4 million in refugee hosting countries, including 700,000 who are out of school. Databases such as REACT and online platforms such as WinjiGo by ITWORX Education can play pivotal roles in providing these children with educational resources.