INTEL HELPS UNRWA EXPAND INNOVATIVE SELF-LEARNING PROGRAMME
FOR CHILDREN AFFECTED BY REGIONAL CONFLICTS
10 December 2014
More than 22,000 UNRWA education staff provides basic education to almost 500,000 Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The online portal will be accessible by all these students and teachers and in particular over 67,000 students who were affected by the conflict in Syria and studied in UNRWA schools before the conflict.
UNRWA is committed to supporting Palestine refugees living in conflict through its Education in Emergencies programme, which increasingly draws on innovative teaching technologies and ICT. UNRWA has developed a comprehensive self-learning programme, which has been now adopted for all Syrian children, with lessons broadcasted on the Agency’s satellite andYouTube channel UNRWA TV, and a web-based Interactive Learning Programme (ILP) addressing the learning needs of students. Recent efforts have seen UNRWA working closely with Digital Explorer and Skype in the Classroom to pilot #myvoicemyschool, which has connected classrooms in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan with classrooms in the United Kingdom.
Intel Director of Corporate Affairs, Middle East, Turkey and Africa Ferruh Gurtas said, “We are happy to collaborate with UNRWA on the online education portal as part of our Intel Innovation Initiative for the Middle East. Education is one of the key pillars of this initiative. With this grant, we wanted to utilize UNRWA expertise and combine that with technology in order to provide education to children who have challenges accessing it. The Intel Foundation fosters education opportunities and quality of life improvements for communities worldwide. By developing programmes, exercising leadership, and providing funding for grants, the Intel Foundation fuels innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); empowers girls and women; inspires underserved youth; and engages with our communities.”
UNRWA Director of Education Dr. Caroline Pontefract and Head of Partnerships, Communication and ICT Dr. Ayman Murad said the partnership will help make learning resources accessible for students affected by the crisis, and UNRWA students at large. Dr. Pontefract said UNRWA welcomes and will continue to work with partners such as Intel to mobilize the resources needed to provide quality education for Palestine refugees.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.
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