Children play at the Save the Children “Rainbow Kindergarten” in Za’atari refugee camp
As half of the total out-of-school primary school age children live in countries affected by conflict and emergencies, there is a critical need to determine how to deliver quality education in spite of the unique challenges presented in these contexts.
Together with Save the Children, GBC-Ed member company Pearson is leading the way to overcome these challenges with the launch of “Every Child Learning,” a £1.5 million, three year partnership to specifically aid children affected by the Syrian crisis in accessing quality education. As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, many displaced children continue to be out of school and increasingly face the risks of child labor, early marriage and child soldier recruitment.
The partnership has two elements. Pearson has committed £1 million to work with Save the Children to explore innovative education solutions to deliver education in emergencies. The intent is that these solutions can be adapted, scaled and used in other emergency contexts. Potential solutions that the partnership will explore include:
- Teacher training and support designed for those working in conflict-affected settings;
- Development of mobile education solutions which are unrestricted by borders, and enable continuity of learning by overcoming barriers such as limited classroom space and high-student teacher-ratios;
- The development of a condensed and modified curriculum that can be delivered without shipping textbooks and extensive teaching materials; and,
- Solutions to grading tests for a qualification when the logistics of a national marking system are not in place and children lack formal school records.
The second component of this partnership addresses the immediate need to assist displaced Syrian children in Jordan. Pearson is donating an additional £500,000 to establish two education centres designed and run by Save the Children in Amman. These efforts will create a safe learning environment for 1,400 children and their parents.
John Fallon, Chief Executive of Pearson, said: “The world’s youngest citizens are often the most vulnerable to conflict. Places of learning should always be safe havens where everyone is able to learn and develop the skills they will need in their lives.”
Every Child Learning demonstrates the role that multinational companies can have in conflict settings, and how through partnership, organizations can leverage their assets and expertise to positively impact children.
Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children, said: “Save the Children is proud to be launching this ambitious partnership with Pearson. If we want to make the biggest difference for children, we must harness the expertise of partners to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children are given the chance to learn in safe and secure environments.”
Every Child Learning is a great example of how GBC-Education companies are committed to utilizing their core assets to provide quality education to Syrian refugees. Western Union, through the Western Union Education for Better Fund, is also assisting children affected by the Syria crisis by allowing nearly anyone, anywhere in the world, to donate to support UNICEF education programs for Syrian youth. Western Union will match consumer donations on a 1:1 basis, up to $100,000.
To find out more about Pearson and Save the Children’s partnership to improve education for children in emergency and conflict-affected settings visit https://www.pearson.com/innovation/every-child-learning.html or www.savethechildren.org.uk/pearson #EveryChildLearning
Photo © Hannah Maule-ffinch/Save the Children