Every Child Learning

Providing education for children in conflict and emergency settings presents many unique challenges.  

Over 2.1 million Syrian children are not in school, and 400,000 are at risk of dropping out. Even more are vulnerable to the risks of child labour, early marriage and recruitment into militia groups. In hosting countries, 0.7 million child refugees from Syria (aged 5-17) are out of school – that’s nearly one in three. Many of the children in school are still not learning.

To address this critical issue, in March 2015, we joined forces with the international organisation Save the Children to launch ‘Every Child Learning’. The three-year partnership worth over £1.5 million aims to increase educational opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan, and innovate new solutions to help improve the delivery of education in emergency and conflict-affected settings.

Supporting Save the Children’s education work in Jordan

To kick start the partnership in 2015 we invested £500,000 to ensure 1,400 children aged 5-13 will benefit from a learning environment that promotes quality education, protection, life skills and wellbeing.

The project is being implemented at centres in two communities in Amman with a high refugee population and great need. The centres are creating a stimulating and safe environment for children and their parents so they can access psychosocial support, as well as partake in structured learning activities. Many of the children have been out of school for at least one year, so through a combination of academic classes (math and Arabic), and extracurricular activities, the project aims to prepare them successfully integrate back into the Jordanian formal education system.

Going beyond traditional philanthropy

Pearson is investing an additional £1 million to work with Save the Children to research and develop new solutions for delivering education in emergencies, drawing on the expertise and assets of both organisations. The ambition is that these can then be adapted, scaled and used to deliver effective education in other emergency situations.

To develop solutions that will be effective and relevant for the unique needs of Syrian refugee and host community children, we needed to gain a deeper understanding of the education related challenges children and families face in these circumstances.

As part of the R&D phase, in 2015 we assembled a team of ethnographers and local researchers to help us understand how people engage with educational resources and technology in times of conflict-affected transition, from Syrian and Jordanian families’ own perspective. Working closely with our partners at Save the Children, our team of researchers, curriculum experts, learning and UX designers are currently using the research insights to develop new solution and programme concepts geared toward helping children in conflict-affected settings to access their right to education.

Advocating for education in emergencies

In parallel to our innovation/programmatic work for ‘Every Child Learning’, we want to raise awareness with our employees, political leaders and the general public, of the urgency around improving education for children affected by conflict.

Some examples of advocacy activities we have done together to date include:

  • We partnered with Save the Children at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul 23-24th May).
  • Pearson made a £100k donation to the article series in The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal 2015, the most successful to date, raising over £1m in total from other major donors and the general public for Save the Children’s Syria Appeal.
  • Pearson donated 7,000 Penguin Readers to Save the Children, to help unaccompanied child refugees arriving in the UK to learn English. As part of this, Save the Children, Pearson volunteers, and Members of Parliament launched a campaign for the UK public to write personal welcome messages for refugee children arriving into the UK.
  • Globally, Pearson employees have fundraised money for Save the Children with Pearson matching donations 4:1 raising additional funds for Save the Children’s work in Syria.

Putting social impact at the heart of our partnerships

For Pearson the partnership will serve as a model for our response to humanitarian crises in the future, providing sustained support for communities after initial media interest may have waned, but the challenge to rebuild communities after major disaster and conflicts remains. Our approach aims to reinforce our commitment to ensuring that the most marginalised have access to high quality learning even when traditional methods of learning are not available.

For further information on how Pearson is helping, visit Save the Children

Save the Children

Read the press announcement from 11 March 2015

View the infographic below to learn more