When thinking about the fundamentals of education in the context of the refugees in Syria, I feel it important to firstly address their psychological needs. Yes literacy and numeracy are important components of education but are they the fundamentals for children that have experienced unimaginable trauma and disruption in their short lives? After much thought I feel there needs to be a holistic approach to education in these circumstances. So what might the fundamentals be?
- Safety- It is essential to ensure the children in Syria have a safe and welcoming environment to receive an education. It must be free from discrimination and physical violence
- Support- Teachers, mentors, peers and the community must support every child and the idea of education to ensure it is seen as a priority
- Suitable content- The content must be appropriate and match their needs. It must provide them with lessons and skills that will enrich their lives.
- Enjoyable- Children need to have a desire to go to school. It is fundamental that their education provide them with learning experiences that are fun, inspiring, collaborative, engaging and provide hope for a brighter future.
– A rigid schooling system
Considerations for future learning spaces
I recently read an article by the UNHCR on how they were required to update their strategy and diversify the way in which they communicated with the refugees in the Zaatari camp. As SMS was no longer a sufficient way of providing updates and keeping track of numbers in the camp they turned to social media. Twitter and Facebook are now essential communication tools in sharing camp news and providing updates and important information. This alone tells me that even in the desolate Jordanian desert the e-space must be given much consideration in future learning spaces. Connecting and learning with and from others around the world, sharing knowledge and experiences is key to the future. This connection can also help provide much needed opportunity and hope for many living in Syria.
UNHCR Innovation. (2015). Social media and SMS outreach. Retrieved from: http://innovation.unhcr.org/labs_post/social-media-and-sms-outreach/