WRS MEETS AN URGENT GLOBAL NEED

The World Refugee School (WRS) is a global initiative established by a group of leading technology, education, and international development companies. WRS provides scalable, high-quality education for refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth worldwide. WRS is organized with a global board and a United States-registered 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.

More than 65 million individuals are forcibly displaced throughout the world today; half of them are under the age of 18. The education shortfall among refugee and displaced children stands in the way of any relief, short- or long-term. By many reports, at least half of school-age refugees are not in school.

Key barriers are:

Local schools are inaccessible: too far, only for locals, and/or are overcrowded

Curricula and language difficulties

Forced livelihood, domestic work and early marriage

Physical disabilities and psychological trauma

No longer eligible to attend school based on local standards (e.g. 3+ years out-of-school)

Security issues, violence, and bullying

The present situation in Jordan exemplifies the severity of the educational crisis. Despite Herculean efforts by Jordanian schools, many operating double shifts, some 250,000 Syrian refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth are out of school. International donors and nongovernmental organizations have thus far only been able to provide 33,000 children with some educational offering, leaving more than 200,000 of these children without access to education. And this is just in Jordan. No education means greater dependency, and the loss of opportunity and hope for a better future.

The Urgent Global Need
65.3 Million Forcibly displaced people worldwide
21.3 Million Refugees
33 Million Forcibly displaced children

53%

of refugees worldwide came from three countries

Source: UNCR / 20 June 2016

Syrian Refugee Education Crisis

There are between 1.1-1.7 million out-of-school Syrian refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth (ages 5-17) in neighboring countries; many are unregistered.

Source: UNICEF, Syria Crisis Education Strategic Paper London 2016 Conference,

* The Jordan figure presented here includes non-registered refugees. The number of registered out of school refugee children as per Source is around 70,000.

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Who We Are

WRS works with committed education providers to ensure that every refugee child receives quality primary and secondary education. WRS leverages cutting-edge, proven educational technologies that are cost-efficient, scalable, and adaptable to different curricula and content appropriate for refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth regardless of location.

THE WRS INITIATIVE

The initiative behind this commitment currently consists of four organizations :

ITG, an international e-learning company with global operations that provides pioneering technology-enabled solutions to education and public institutions around the globe with clients and users spanning 40 countries. www.itgsolutions.com

DAI Global LLC, a manager of development aid projects with 45 years of field operating experience throughout the Middle East and around the world www.dai.com

LEGO Education, LEGO’s education arm and an innovator in playful learning education.lego.com

These four founding members have existing solutions that can manage the delivery of high-quality education to millions of children and provide full K–12 content covering multiple national curricula in Arabic as well as other languages.

WRS also includes a US not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that serves as the fiduciary interface between donors and the WRS Initiative.

The Alliance also has research commitments and an Augmented Intelligence (AI)-based approach to adaptive learning that will yield continuous improvement to steadily enhance the initial offering over time.

The WRS Global Board governs and coordinates the WRS Initiative.

Who We Are

WRS works with committed education providers to ensure that every refugee child receives quality primary and secondary education. WRS leverages cutting-edge, proven educational technologies that are cost-efficient, scalable, and adaptable to different curricula and content appropriate for refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth regardless of location.

THE WRS INITIATIVE

The initiative behind this commitment currently consists of the following organizations :

ITG, an international e-learning company with global operations that provides pioneering technology-enabled solutions to education and public institutions around the globe with clients and users spanning 40 countries. www.itgsolutions.com

DAI Global LLC, a manager of development aid projects with 45 years of field operating experience throughout the Middle East and around the world www.dai.com

LEGO Education, LEGO’s education arm and an innovator in playful learning education.lego.com

These founding members have existing solutions that can manage the delivery of high-quality education to millions of children and provide full K–12 content covering multiple national curricula in Arabic as well as other languages.

WRS also includes a US not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that serves as the fiduciary interface between donors and the WRS Initiative.

Governance

The World Refugee School initiative was started by four companies and has since grown to include additional companies, stakeholders and entities.

WRS Global Board

The Global Board is the umbrella of the WRS and all its participants and partners. The WRS Global Board provides overall leadership of the initiative and coordination among all participants and partners. Board directors are appointed by key participants and partners.

The founding members of the WRS Global Board are:

  • Integrated Technology Group (ITG)
  • DAI Global LLC
  • Lego Education
  • Brainrush
  • WRS 501(c)(3) USA

Additional members of the Board can be appointed by WRS partners given that the right to appoint a Board member is included in the partnership terms agreed between the Board and the new partner. The Board can appoint advisory members.

The WRS Platform

WRS Partner ITG has developed the EduWave® online platform to deliver education to millions of student users. The integrated platform is designed to seamlessly serve multiple communities, standards, functions and roles, and integrate content from different sources.

The platform facilitates continuity of learning during transitions, regardless of location. WRS also features:

  • Lean annual program costs of $310/student fully- loaded or $74 if teachers and hardware already exist;
  • A cascade model for teacher training and job and community creation; and
  • An open partnership invitation that enables WRS to supplement and use the technology to leverage and scale existing programs.
EduWave® Content Development

The WRS Platform

WHY WRS

THE WRS SOLUTION IS SCALABLE 
THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS OF WRS AND ITS SOLUTION MAKE THE INITIATIVE SCALABLE BEYOND PREVIOUS EDUCATION INITIATIVES TARGETING REFUGEES:

The solution is based on an integrated platform.

ITG’s EduWave® platform is tested and proven. It allows cross-border, multi-curriculum, multi-language, multi-learning-style education and learning management at the school system, school, class, teacher, parent, and student level. It provides enterprise resource planning (ERP) facilities, student management and tracking, a platform for content object management, and tools for content development. It provides communication and community support tools to strengthen economic and social bonds among students, teachers, and families within the local community. Furthermore, it becomes a rich source of big data that can feed cognitive computing AI systems to help improve the system’s content and processes. It allows affordable and manageable scaling to millions of students.

Its design incorporates a lean and optimized cost structure with minimal overhead.

During scale-up, the cost of the fully loaded platform—including content, hardware, infrastructure, teaching, and management—is US$310 per student per year. If hardware and infrastructure are already available, this price is reduced to US$234. If WRS partners already engage teachers, the cost drops to $150. Finally, if both teachers and hardware are provided, the cost is further reduced to $74 per student per year.

WRS utilizes a cascading model that incorporates adult training and job- and community-creation.

WRS will use its education infrastructure to provide training for older siblings, parents, and adult members of the refugee community. In the absence of enough qualified teachers, older siblings and adults will be offered teacher training and hired as teachers and assistant teachers, supported by more experienced teachers through the online community tools. The cascade effect will be community support for education, community pride in jobs, and an overall stronger community.

WRS will not replace existing educational efforts, but will partner with them to supplement and use technology to leverage and scale what is already underway.

Some existing content provided will be selected and developed to address the special challenges of displaced children and communities. LEGO Education applies methods to empower and encourage traumatized children to learn; research partnerships will expand such capabilities over time.

WRS Milestones and Impact

At its core, WRS is about providing online education to refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth. Through this initiative, WRS contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to address key global challenges around education and poverty reduction. Specifically, WRS’s mission supports the following SDGs:

  • SDG 4: Ensuring inclusive and equitable education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • SDG 17: Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.

As part of its activities, WRS works toward both of those high level impact goals. Under inclusive and equitable education (SDG 4), Through its introductory phase, WRS is testing and adapting learning content and resources for use with refugees in preparation for scale-up in 2018 and beyond. In 2017, the goal is to reach 25,000 refugee students.

Under SDG 17, WRS is committed to building partnership at all levels to expand access to education. This means fostering partnerships at all levels, including with local implementing partners that have deep understanding of the refugee communities they serve, content providers that hold curricular expertise, and technology and equipment partners. WRS brings together these partners to enable state-of-the-art educational opportunities for forcibly displaced children.

Partner with us

Accomplishing the mission will only be possible if other partners contribute their expertise and their financial resources to help scale up WRS activities.

WRS is inclusive: content, technology, and other education providers to refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth are invited to join as collaborators and use the technology to supplement their ongoing education efforts. The initiative welcomes the participation of additional corporate partners, who can provide:

  • Time and support;
  • In-kind contributions – tablets, laptops, communication and connectivity equipment, educational content; and
  • Financial resources toward the initiative and its mission.
WRS LOCATIONS

WRS Europe: 3rd Floor Block C, Westside, London Road, Apsley, HP3 9TD, UK
WRS North America: World Refugee School (WRS) Initiative, 7600 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
WRS Middle East: 41 Ahmad Shawqi St., Jabal Al-Lweibdeh, Amman-Jordan

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