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Connection beyond the camps: Digital education for Rohingya refugee children

Where language creates a barrier to education, our exciting digital lessons bring learning to life.

Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh are only allowed to study the Myanmar curriculum in Burmese, a language they don’t understand. Children on the Edge creates fun companion video lessons in Rohingya (a non written language) so that over 7300 children and their teachers can finally understand their textbooks, opening up a world of experience and learning for children confined to refugee camps.

Spotlight
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

EdTech: Bangladesh

Web presence

2019

Established

7.3K

Children

2

Countries
Target group
Students basic
Updated
July 2023
Where language creates a barrier to education, our exciting digital lessons bring learning to life. Over 7,300 Rohingya children and their teachers can finally understand their textbooks, opening up a world of experience and learning for children confined to refugee camps. Seeing themselves on screen was literally jaw dropping and resulted in entire classrooms jumping up to clap and cheer.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Over a million Rohingya refugees live in Bangladesh, unable to return to hostile Myanmar anytime soon. Only English or Burmese textbooks are allowed in the vast refugee camps - languages the Rohingya scarcely understand. Consequently an entire generation of children are at risk of growing up without learning to read or write; lacking the basic skills needed to lead a healthy, productive life.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

We create colourful, engaging video lessons to use in 144 classrooms within Kutupalong camp, on Bhasan Char Island and within host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Trained refugee teachers utilise hundreds of videos, shown on portable handheld projectors to teach around 7,300 learners.

Lessons are based on the government-approved Myanmar curriculum and ensure that teachers can follow textbooks and children can actually understand what is being taught. The videos combine footage of Rohingya teachers explaining concepts with pictures and cartoons that bring subjects to life and make classes fun. The children tell us the videos are their favourite part about school.

To enhance the core curriculum, videos on subjects like health, human rights and culture are shown to allow the children to see aspects of the world that they didn't previously know existed, giving them a glimpse into life outside the confines of the camps or slums where they live.

How has it been spreading?

Children on the Edge only provide 4% of education provision in the camps, but our learning centres are consistently ranked highest by authorities and children. Classrooms have a 96% average attendance rate and teachers continue to describe how children learn and concentrate better with digital lessons, and retain information for longer.

Alongside digital lessons, an online platform - ‘Moja Kids’ - brings weekly student-made digital newsletters to all our classrooms. The children delight in both creating and watching the Moja Kids newsletters, giving them a chance to express themselves, share their talents and interact with others to tackle their sense of isolation. We are expanding the use of Moja Kids to India so the children can connect with others living in challenging environments.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Since 2010, Children on the Edge have set the standard for education delivery for Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh and encourage other agencies to adopt our unique model so that many more Rohingya children can gain a meaningful education.

Please contact us at communications@childrenonthedge.org to find out more about our digital education model and how you can replicate it.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

Children on the Edge is redefining education for refugees, providing digital lessons in their native language, enhancing understanding, and making learning accessible and enjoyable, turning linguistic barriers into bridges of knowledge.

This initiative has impressive scalability potential. The model of overcoming language barriers through tailored digital lessons can be adapted globally to aid diverse refugee or minority populations, thereby expanding educational access.

- Academy member
Academy review results
Impact
Scalability
Exceptional
High
Moderate
Limited
Insufficient
Exceptional
High
Moderate
Limited
Insufficient
Read more about our selection process

Media

Digital Education Model: Bringing Learning To Life
Digital Education Helping Children to Flourish in Bangladesh
Meet Shahida Bibi in Bangladesh
Moja Kids - The Online Newsletter That’s Building Confidence In Children in Bangladesh
World Children’s Day: Inclusion through digital lessons in Bangladesh
Meet Abdul, a Rohingya refugee from a Children on the Edge learning centre in Kutupalong
Breaking down barriers to education through digital lessons.
Why digital? Breaking down barriers to education in Bangladesh
Virtual Event Going Digital: Meaningful education that makes an impact
Learning from Bangladesh: Introducing digital education for Dalit children in India https://www.childrenontheedge.org/lateststories/learning-from-bangladesh-introducing-digital-education-for-dalit-children-in-india
Digital programme from Children on the Edge and Mukti wins 2020 Tech4Good Education award
Children use digital technology to prevent the spread of coronavirus
The context of the Learning Centres
Education for Rohingya refugee children in Kutupalong
Reaction to first Moja Kids newsletter
MOJA KIDS ONLINE PLATFORM
Raiyan is 10 years old and a student in a school supported by Children on the Edge in the Rohingya Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. He has learnt a lot since starting school and is now working at level 2. He concentrates hard in his lessons and is naturally very creative. When his teacher tells a story or describes something that has happened to the class, Raiyan immediately starts imagining it. It’s hard for him being limited to living in the camp and only hearing about what happens outside, but it doesn’t stop him having hopes for the future. When he grows up, Raiyan wants to be an airplane pilot. He says that every night he sees planes flying south to north and is amazed by the blinking lights in the night sky. He had always wondered how airplanes fly, what’s inside them, and how people sit in them. Recently, all these questions were answered when he was able to watch a documentary about airplanes at his Learning Centre. The video has not only made him more curious but more determined to fly in a plane one day, or better still become a pilot. The digital programme in Kutupalong gives students access to experiences and knowledge from around the world and enables them to have interaction with other children outside the camp. It tackles language barriers, encourages creativity and brings lessons alive. 
Multi media learning for Rohingya refugee children

Spread of the innovation

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