Leveraging technology to support education for refugees

UNESCO will present a report on the potential of technology to address the educational needs of refugees, A lifeline to learning: Leveraging technology to support education for refugees, on 27 March (11.45 am) during Mobile Learning Week, the Organization’s flagship event on information and communication technologies for education.

The Report examines how mobile technology can help meet the educational needs of the unprecedented number of refugees around the world whose access to learning is limited by many factors, including their status and linguistic barriers.

“Mobile technologies already play a central role in the lives of refugees, from providing access to vital information in new environments to maintaining social networks,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “They offer flexible learning solutions that can enable refugees in diverse circumstances to pursue their education, a basic human right and the path towards restoring stability and hope in the future.”

Noting that 93% of the 22.5 million refugees identified by the UN in 2016 lived in areas covered by mobile networks and that 39 percent of their households had internet-capable telephones, the Report says that “among refugees, connectivity is often perceived as a basic need alongside education, clothing and healthcare.”

Connected devices provide a portal to a wide and rapidly expanding range of educational tools and services and are often seen as a lifeline for refugee learners.

The Report builds on the work of the 2017 session of Mobile Learning Week, which was dedicated to education in emergencies and crises. The 100-page volume also features a number of success stories reflecting the benefit of mobile technologies for the education of refugees from a variety of perspectives.