Erbil, 28 April 2014; As part of its initiatives to guarantee young Syrian refugees their right to quality education, UNESCO Office for Iraq expanded its activities in the camps, launching a new series of training targeting teachers and parents in the two main camps of Darashkran and Kawargowsak in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
After training teachers and opening the first secondary school in Domiz camp in Duhok, UNESCO Office for Iraq held similar training programmes in the two camps of Darashakaran and Kawargoesk in Erbil to introduce more than 40 teachers and over 35 members of Parent Teacher Associations to interactive learning and the complex aspects of emergency education.
Held on the camps premises between 12 and 24 April 2014, the training was conducted and monitored by UNESCO international experts, and covered key priority areas including:
- Improving teachers’ skills on pedagogy, content knowledge and student centred activity based teaching;
- Enhancing the teachers and parents’ understanding and use of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies’ (INEE) minimum standards and adopt them in schools;
- Orienting Syrian refugees on Iraqi national curriculum at preparatory education level; and
- Training teachers to provide psychological support for children and youth.
“The trainer did marvellously well to bring us four years worth of knowledge in four days”, stated Lina Slo, an Arabic teacher at the secondary school in Darashakran. “Through this training, we as teachers learned to advance our teaching skills in order to advance the capacity of our students”, she added.
Teachers, who are from the refugee camps and serving in the camps, were trained on classroom management, active learning, and teaching in post disaster situation.
While members of the Parents Teachers Associations received training focused on school management, support school activities and involving parents in enhancing students’ performance. “UNESCO timed the training perfectly before teachers start to teach. This is an ideal scenario to improve the quality of education they will offer”, said Omar Hamad, Head of the Department of Education in the Khabat District in Erbil.
As the conflict in Syria enters its third year, the numbers of refugees fleeing the fighting to neighbouring countries is reaching record levels. Around 220,000 of them are in Iraq, with an overwhelming majority of them in the Kurdistan region.
In cooperation with the line ministries in the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and with the support of national and international agencies, UNESCO Office for Iraq launched a number of emergency education projects for Syrian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to help provide secondary education, technical and vocational education, adult literacy, life skills and higher education in camps as well as outside them.