Dh1.1bn to support education for children affected by crisis

Dubai Cares has announced its support of a two-year research and design phase of a project that aims to provide continuous quality education for children whose education has been disrupted by rapid onset or protracted crises.

Dubai Cares is contributing AED1,102,050 (US$300,000) to the project.

The research explores the development of a global quality learning curriculum framework that is referred to as a 'Learning Passport'. This framework covers maths, science, literacy as well as social and emotional learning skills, and includes associated teaching and learning materials and a certification model that tracks progress and assesses learning outcomes.

The Learning Passport aims to be internationally recognised to facilitate a portable learning framework for children on the move.

Spearheaded by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the project involves key partners that form a founding group of donors who will be providing financial or in-kind support. The University of Cambridge is providing in-kind research resources and Microsoft has committed to providing a personalised digital learning platform to support the operationalisation and use of the Learning Passport.

The Dubai Cares grant is part of an AED18.35 million (US$5 million) commitment made last year during the United Nations General Assembly in New York towards UNICEF’s ‘Generation Unlimited’, a new global partnership to work with and for young people.

Dubai Cares’ contribution will specifically support three key research goals: completing the foundational research to develop a blueprint for the learning framework that is tailored for the needs of refugees, migrants and internally displaced children and youth; designing a pilot trial as per the recommendations of the foundational research; and establishing a global reference group consisting of donors, educational practitioners, and academics.

Commenting on the project, Annina Mattsson, Programmes Director at Dubai Cares, said, "Emergencies are affecting more and more people around the world, due to wars, natural disasters as well as political and social unrest. Displaced populations, whether internally or out of their country, have to deal with complete disruption in their life. Children are always the most impacted, with their education being interrupted and delayed at best, or even ceased at worst."

The aim of this project, she said, is to develop a framework through which children affected by crises can have uninterrupted access to quality education. "We are pleased to be supporting the research phase of this project along with leading organisations such as UNICEF, the University of Cambridge, and Microsoft, whose knowledge and expertise will be a guiding force for the success of this project," Mattsson added.

In 2018, the number of people fleeing war, persecution, and conflict exceeded 70 million, and every second refugee was a child. Only 50 percent of refugee children have access to primary education, compared with a global level of more than 90 percent.

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