Every child deserves an education. But around the world, millions of children are not in school because of conflict, natural disasters, and other emergency situations. These children are vulnerable to the risks of child labor, early marriage, and recruitment into militia groups.
The Syrian Conflict has led to over 2.8 million Syrian children to be out of school. In Jordan, there are 655,365 Syrians registered, with 261,000 of school age. Only 61% of them (64% girls and 60% boys) attend school. Many in school are still not learning — they often haven’t been in a classroom in months or even years, making learning at the appropriate grade level difficult.
To help tackle this critical issue, Pearson and Save the Children UK joined forces in 2015 to launch Every Child Learning. The goals of this partnership are:
- To deliver high-quality education to Syrian refugees and host community children in Jordan and
- To innovate new solutions to help improve the delivery of education in emergency and conflict-affected settings.
Since then, Pearson has invested £1.5 million (US$2.25 million) across the three pillars of the Every Child Learning partnership to provide:
- program funding to meet immediate needs in Jordan
- investment in research and development of new digital and programmatic solutions
- advocacy and sponsorship to raise awareness of the urgency around improving education for children in emergency and conflict-affected settings globally.
At the end of 2016, in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, we committed to doubling our investment for an additional three years to support the research and development of new solutions.
To kick-start the partnership, we invested £500,000 (US$750,000) to enable the creation of two educational centers in Amman, Jordan, with a high refugee population and great need. Since opening, they have:
- provided quality Early Childhood Care and Development services for 604 preschool-aged children
- given 613 children (aged 6–13) psychosocial support and life skills activities
- conducted informal education and supplementary tutoring sessions for 873 children.
But we haven’t stopped there.
Additionally, we’ve invested another £1 million (US$1.5 million) to work with Save the Children in researching and developing new programmatic and digital solutions for delivering education to Syrian refugees and host community children in Jordan, with an ambition to adapt and scale these in other emergency situations.
At the end of 2016, Pearson committed to doubling our investment for an additional three years to support the pilot of new education solutions in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education.
Initially, this work included a research project to gain a deep understanding of Syrian and Jordanian families’ own perspectives regarding education during emergency situations. The Pearson researchers were able to gain vital insight into how learners engage with educational resources and technology in times of conflict-affected transition.
From those results, and by using Pearson’s expertise in education content development and Save the Children’s expertise working on the ground with vulnerable children, we have developed a new education project, which we will pilot and adapt with a view to scale.
The project includes “Space Hero” (Batlalfada), a fun and engaging math learning app, designed by Pearson in collaboration with refugee and Jordanian children, aged 9–12, to strengthen their math skills. The app follows the story of Shehab (Arabic for shooting star) as he travels back to earth. It is available on the Google Play store to download for free, so that children can access learning anywhere at any time.
The app will also support a broader Save the Children led in-school program that focuses on teacher professional development, school-community relations, after-school learning, and psychosocial support.
Overall, the in-school programme will reach 3,750 people directly to accelerate their learning and improve their wellbeing.
Our partnership creates the capacity to advocate for children and their right to an education. We work to raise awareness among our employees, political leaders, and the public about the need to improve education for children affected by conflict.
- In March 2017, together with Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), we launched a call for submissions to a new report highlighting 'Promising Practices in Refugee Education'. This report identifies promising practices in refugee education around the world, with a focus on bringing innovation to existing efforts.
- Pearson has made two £100,000 (approx. US$130,000) donations to the article series in The Sunday Times’ Christmas 2015 and 2016 appeals, raising over £2 million (approx. US$2.6 million) in total from Pearson, major donors, and the general public for Save the Children’s Syria Appeal.
- As of August 2017, Pearson employees around the world have fundraised over £22,185 (approx. US$29,000), with Pearson matching donations for Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day, Child Refugee Crisis, and Syria appeals. In addition, contributions from Pearson's share plan activity by current and former Pearson employees (and a further amount from other shareholders) has raised an additional £33,448 (approx. US$43,000).
For Pearson, this partnership has become the model for our response to humanitarian crises in the future. We will provide sustained support for communities as they work to rebuild communities after major disaster and conflicts. Our approach is to ensure the most marginalized have access to high-quality learning, even when traditional methods of learning are not available.
Learn more about how Pearson is helping:
Save the Children’s UK website
Read the press announcement from 19 September 2017
Read the press announcement for the launch of our partnership from 11 March 2015