15,000 child refugees to benefit from Vodafone Foundation's Instant Classroom
The Vodafone Foundation Instant Classroom has been specifically designed for areas where electricity and internet connectivity are unreliable or non-existent and will be deployed in partnership with UNHCR's Innovation and Education units.
The Instant Classroom is shipped in a secure and robust 52kg case which is equipped with a laptop, 25 tablets pre-loaded with educational software, a projector, a speaker and a hotspot modem with 3G connectivity. The tablets can connect to the laptop locally, enabling teachers to deliver content and applications to students without the need to access the internet.
All the components of the Vodafone Foundation Instant Classroom can be charged simultaneously from a single power source while the case is locked. After 6-8 hours of charging time, the Instant Classroom can be used for a full day in a classroom without access to electricity.
Over the next year, the Vodafone Foundation Instant Classroom will be deployed to 12 schools in refugee settlements in Kakuma in Kenya, in the Nyarungusu refugee settlement in Tanzania and in the Equatorial Region in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Instant Classroom will this year provide up to 15,000 children and young adults aged from 7 to 20 with advanced teaching aids that are currently only available in a minority of schools in developed nations.
The Instant Classroom builds on the Vodafone Foundation's experience with tablet-based learning programmes. In 2014, the Vodafone Foundation worked with UNHCR's Education and Innovation units to develop the Instant Network Schools programme, which introduced tablet-based learning to around 18,000 pupils in the Dadaab refugee settlement in northern Kenya.
Teachers at the Dadaab schools said the tablet-based lessons have been so popular that pupil attendance had increased by an average of 15 per cent.
Over the next two years, the Vodafone Foundation Instant Network Schools programme will be extended to support additional schools in refugee camps in Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo with the aim to reach more than 40,000 children and young people. ■