WRS MEETS AN URGENT GLOBAL NEED

The Challenge

A child without education is a child with little hope to succeed in life.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) estimates that more than 500 million children and adolescents in the world do not reach minimum proficiency levels in reading and math. Many of them have never attended school; the rest have done so briefly or in fundamentally dysfunctional institutions.

The latest UNHCR numbers count 68.5 million people who are refugees or forcibly displaced; more than half of these being children, half of whom get no education. Lack of education in fragile states can be attributed to the scarcity of school facilities, the absence of teachers, poverty or orphanism, distance to schools, lack of community support and other reasons. Further, 123 million girls have no access to education merely because of their gender.

The numbers and categories of children deprived of education can vary from survey to survey and between the different sources, but in all cases, the scale of the problem is counted in hundreds of millions of children.

The challenge at hand for WRS and our partners is to bring quality education to each one of these children.

68.5 Million Forcibly displaced people worldwide
+500 Million Children and adolescents in the world do not reach minimum proficiency level in reading and math
123 Million Girls get no education

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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.

The Answer

This challenge is so large in scale that it cannot be solved without the scaling power of technology. Education is in its essence a profoundly human and social process. Technology applied in the right way can augment the unique human value, while empowering the student, the teacher, and the community, and making quality education scalable, affordable and certifiable.

WRS is committed to adapting and configuring technology to serve this end; to enhance the educational processes and organization to be able to leverage the adapted technology, and to invite the technology industry to bring their solutions, innovation power and resources to bear on this challenge.

Many of the crises resulting in the challenge are semi-permanent, expanding or cyclical of nature. This means that our answers need to be durable – providing solutions that will last – and immediate – providing solutions as emergency response since education cannot wait.

The role of WRS

WRS Global is a school that leverages technology to provide quality education to children in need globally in an affordable, scalable, durable, immediate and certifiable way.

To achieve this, many different existing solutions need to be combined; many components and combinations need to be innovated; the insights, resources and experiences of many companies need to be activated into working ecosystems. The role of WRS is to catalyze and orchestrate the formation and growth of these ecosystems.

WRS Global is organized as a US Public Benefit corporation which is sole member of a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization and has operating entities in several countries.

The WRS Solution

The learning and scaling loop

To achieve the goal of systemic quality solutions and global scale, WRS has developed a partnering approach that leads to both systemic learning and a scaling cascade.

The basic dynamic is this: WRS will be working with its technology and solutions partners to develop the essential building blocks for a systemic solution. These solutions will be offered to implementation partners who commit to using the solutions in large scale education programs and to provide feedback to WRS about short-comings and desirable enhancements of the solutions.

This feedback will give guidance to the on-going development and improvement process and will be embodied in next version of the solutions, which will then be offered to existing and additional implementation partners.

WRS has agreed or is discussing partnerships for this type of process with organizations like Qatar Charity, International Rescue Committee, several Ministries of Education, Plan International, Children of Somalia, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), Mateen and Education Cannot Wait.

WRS BULDING BLOCKS

The system of connected critical resources that WRS developed with its partners and around EduWave consists of the building blocks displayed below. Each building block represents a work stream and a work plan for WRS and its partners.

These four building blocks represent the core set of systemic solutions that are being developed in the WRS ecosystem. The special circumstances defined by this particular educational challenge have made two additional initiatives necessary, one related to our ability to start schools immediately in principle everywhere; the other related to some of the special learning needs of children and adolescents in crisis situations:

Our four systemic building blocks – the platform, certification, the content repository and the teacher training – and the two related packages – ‘School in a Box’ and Special need content – are the solutions in on-going development by WRS and partners. In our learning and scaling loop we invite implementers to test us and help us drive the development in the right direction.

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 solution is based on an integrated platform, which adopts well-tested proven technologies.

WRS’ utilized platform enables cross-border, multi-curriculum, multi-language, multi-learning-style education and learning management at different levels within the educational institution. That includes, the school, classes, teachers, parents, and student levels. It provides communication and community support tools to strengthen economic and social bonds among students, teachers, and families within the local community. Thereby, it allows affordable and manageable scaling to millions of students.

WRS pursues education with a lean and optimized cost structure and minimal overhead.

At large scale, WRS has deployed a fully loaded platform—including content, hardware, infrastructure, teaching, and management—at a cost of US$310 per student per year. WRS does not exceed 7.5% total overhead in its deployments.

WRS adopts a methodology in training which cascades into adult training and job- and community-creation.

WRS uses its education infrastructure to provide training for older siblings, parents, and adult members of the community. This extends to the inclusion of older siblings and adults in teacher training, as teachers or assistant teachers. An eventual effect of this cascade is community support for education, community pride in jobs, and an overall stronger community.

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

WRS has not been created to replace existing, good education efforts, but to provide access to a richer supply of content and to a realistic path to globally accredited certification to all providers of education, using technology. Only by being part of a growing ecosystem of education providers and providers of education solutions can the challenge of education for all children be achieved.

Certification and compliance with learning standards across host countries

WRS believes that every child engaging in education and learning should be entitled to their accomplishments recognized. We are therefore committed to a program of certification of international accreditation. Our education follows the relevant curricula in the countries where we operate. However, we ensure standardization and recognition across borders, and we capture and document the necessary data on each child’s achievements, so that certificates can be issued in all cases. On top of this we work with certifying authorities such as Ofqual and agencies such as City & Guilds to ensure that the certification can be accredited.

Our projects

OUR PROJECTS:
In its introductory phase, WRS is has tested and adapted learning content and resources for use with refugees in preparation for scale-up in 2018 and beyond.

 

I Can Project:
Mateen and World Refugee School had joined forces to start the I Can project ; which provides Syrian refugee children at informal tent settlements, who have had no access to education, with quality education through smart technology. Project targets refugee children that have been out of school for varying periods of time living in informal tent settlements in Mafraq, Jordan. WRS has implement a pilot project to create new centers for learning to provide Syrian refugee children with accelerated, play-based learning to bring them up to the level of their peers as quickly as possible. The project focuses on helping bridge the educational gap in grade one level Arabic and English as delineated by Jordanian education standards.

Additionally, IT solutions are provided including on-site set up, equipment installations, cloud hosting, as well as update content and troubleshoot problems with the system remotely. IT equipment is also provided including laptops and associated supplies (mouse, bags, cables, etc.) for teachers, as well as projectors, and IPEVO smart pens.

 

Digital Opportunity Trust: Assistance teachers and community:
Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Jordan and World Refugee School have partnered to provide educational content to refugee youth and young adults across Jordan through existing, government-sponsored computer labs/community centers called Knowledge Stations. DOT hopes to reach beneficiaries by renovating several Knowledge Stations, with the goal of eventually expanding to serve additional Knowledge Stations across Jordan. The objective of this project is to increase digital literacy and job opportunities, especially those who might not otherwise have internet access, through the provision of new educational content to at least 200 refugees. The content provided consists of English learning content through Rosetta Stone and ArabCode, an online course which teaches participants to code HTML. The project will also provide intensive training over the course of several days to familiarize facilitators with the platform and content as well as additional technical support to ensure smooth implementation.

WRS Global Board

Nonprofit Board

WRS Founding Partners

WRS was founded by a group of education, technology and development organizations, of which two stand as founding partners:

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

WRS functions within an ecosystem of partners, including technology partners, content partners, teacher training partners, certification partners, educational implementation partners, education policy partners, project management partners, funding partners as well as numerous ministries and agencies.

Partner with us

Accomplishing the mission is only possible with and through these existing partners and if many more partners contribute their solutions, their expertise and their financial resources to help scale up , so that we can meet the challenge of the education of 500 million children.

We invite all corporations, organizations and individuals to join and contribute:

  • Time and support;
  • In-kind contributions;
  • Financial resources toward the initiative and its mission.
WRS LOCATIONS

WRS America: 2550 N 1st St, Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95131.

WRS Middle East: 41 Ahmad Shawqi st., Jabal Al-Lweibdeh, Amman-Jordan

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