Education can play a major role in helping refugees adapt to the society welcoming them. Many education institutions have taken steps to help refugees find their place in society. Over the next eight weeks, we will feature initiatives put in place to support refugee teachers and students.
Inspiring practice number 1 - Leiden University
This week, we look at Leiden University's graduate school of teaching (ICLON) that has begun training Syrian teachers to use digital teaching technologies.
Using what already exists
To create new opportunities for Syrian refugees, Leiden University has built on its existing cooperation with other universities, including those outside Europe.
Working within an Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility, Dutch and Kazakh colleagues organized and executed a workshop on developing higher education curricula for a group of Syrian refugee teachers in the Netherlands. The workshop had a very creative approach, and brought together new thinking on how to design study programmes. At the same time it contributed to the social integration of Syrian refugee teachers as they developed new materials with their colleagues from Kazakhstan and the Netherlands.
Promote "mobile education"
Syrian teachers are taking part in ‘The Mobile Educator’ project, an eight-week programme designed by ICLON and its partner ‘Dutch Academic Services’. The Mobile Educator project takes the professionalism of the Syrian teachers as starting point to explore education in the Netherlands and to train the use of a range of ICT applications for mobile education. One of the key objectives is to equip participants with skills that they can then transfer to non-English speaking colleagues.
This training was funded by both partners, travel costs were financed through the crowdfunding platform of Leiden University. Upon completion, participants received a Certificate of Participation, provided that they attended at least 80% of the training. There are high hopes that this certification is stimulating refugee teachers towards taking the next steps in continuing their professional development and integration into society in The Netherlands..
On April 21st, the first Mobile Educator training ended and 16 teachers were awarded their certificates.