Over the past 18 months OLE has worked in close cooperation with UNHCR and IRD to implement our community-based model by providing ongoing support for coaches and support staff in the use of digital content in the classroom, and effective project based learning methodologies. During October and December OLE International staff undertook site visits to conduct workshops, coordinate with our implementation partners, and gather data for monitoring and evaluation. As you read this, two independent researchers from Harvard University are en route to Za'atari to conduct additional monitoring and evaluation exercises.
One of the primary objectives of the Tiger Program is to improve school retention rates and educational outcomes among young Syrian refugee women by supporting their learning pathways through community-based support programs. High dropout rates among women around the world are well documented; dropout rates amongst Syrian refugee girls are amongst the highest in the world. OLE provides a blend of student-center learning supported by learning coaches with access to a digital library and course building and class management tools. The OLE program aims to include parents and siblings into the process so that they become stakeholders in the outcomes. After 18 months we have considerable evidence that OLE and our partners are shifting the needle on this important issue.
The past three months have been a busy and productive time for the Tiger Girls program. At the Za'atari camp the program continues to gain steam and is fast becoming an independent entity capable of standing on its own two feet. We are confident that the coaches are capable of driving the program forward with support from IRD. As such, OLE will step back from the direct role we have played until now. At the Za'atari camp IRD will continue to implement the program with oversight from UNHCR while OLE prepares to expand the program to additional sites in Jordan and Turkey.
We would like to thank all of our supporters who gave during the month of December. We had a successful drive raising nearly $5,000 from more than 40 unique donors thereby expanding our funding base and providing direct support for this program.
Open Learning Exchange (OLE) is thrilled to have another extension with UNHCR to continue developing the Tiger girls program in Za’atari camp in Jordan till December 31, 2016. Tiger girls and their coaches are still meeting on a daily basis in Za’atari camp to address academic challenges and working on different projects.
OLE visit to Za’atari camp Oct 6
A team member from OLE International traveled to The Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan in October to conduct a midterm evaluation of the pilot TIGER program. The purpose of the visit was to assess how well program goals are being met, and to meet with the different stakeholders to discuss the challenges that they are facing. Research was conducted via interviews and surveys with coaches, surveys with TIGER girls, observation of each of the TIGER teams, and focus group discussions with stakeholders at all levels.
The program was found to be very successful in terms of increasing girls motivation and commitment to staying in school and developing career objectives. The girls reported that they are more interested in the TIGER program than any other available education program. They cited the program flexibility as one of the primary reasons for liking the program, as it allows them to focus on their interests.
Please take action today
The OLE team produced a set of recommendations and plans that will enable TIGER program to expand the within the camp, and at additional locations outside of Za’atari. We couldn't do any of this work without you, please make donations to allow the TIGER program to move forward.
General Update Over the past 3 months the Tiger Teams completed a series of projects based around recycling. Coaches and Tiger Girls continue to meet daily to address academic study needs focused on math and basic literacy skills, as well as project based learning activities.. The coaches’ reports indicate high attendance rates at school and improved test scores. They are currently working to complete school registration for the coming school year.
Harvard Evaluation Team Visits Za’atari A team from the Harvard Graduate School of Education program, traveled to The Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan in June to conduct a process evaluation of the pilot TIGER program. The purpose of the trip was to assess how well these goals are being achieved and to propose interventions and/or modifications to strengthen the program. Through interviews with coaches, focus group discussions with TIGER girls, and observations of each of the TIGER teams, the program was found to be successful in increasing girls’ motivation to go to and stay in school. The combination of direct academic support, community service projects, and strong trusting relationships between the coaches, the girls, and their families has made the TIGER girls a “network of girl change makers” within the camp. Many girls reported that the TIGER program has increased their confidence in school, provided new collaborative problem solving skillsets, and promoted a strong social network that involves the coaches and TIGER peers in various aspects of their lives.
Please help us do more! The Harvard team produced a set of recommendations that will help OLE build upon and seek to expand the program within the camp, and at additional locations. They also set a modest goal of providing a field trip for the girls. “From our conversations with the girls, we learned that they would like to have the opportunity to go on a field trip outside of the camp. To help the girls achieve this dream, please donate to the TIGER field trip campaign here or donate to the main Tiger Girls campaign here. We are urging our supporters to make donations during the next few days so that we can take advantage of the GlobalGiving matching funds available over the next few days.
Overview The purpose of the TIGER Project (These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading) is to demonstrate and document the effectiveness of an innovative and scalable community based approach to learning that is being carried out with adolescent girls in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The program aims to increases the sense of agency, meaning, and connection of the participants while also supporting their personal learning goals. The objective of this demonstration project is to show that the methodology will enable the girls to take greater control over their lives as they develop basic knowledge, critical skills, and meaningful relationships.
The TIGER Girls are grouped into TIGER Teams of approximately 10 learners with the goal of fostering a support network as they improve their literacy and numeracy skills. The girls have access to a learning library of open educational resources and the OLE Personal Learning System that enables them to plan, track, and share their progress. TIGER Coaches facilitate the TIGER Girls’ learning process through project based learning exercises that are team driven. Currently, there are 12 TIGER Coaches and 126 TIGER Girls involved in the project.
General Update Over the past 3 months OLE, IRD, and UNHCR have cooperated to order and deliver the technical hardware needed for the program. This includes 105 tablets, 7 Raspberry Pi servers configured with the OLE Open Learning System, routers, and digital cameras. The OLE team carried in the servers and routers together with 15 tablets needed for the training program (see below). However, although the purchasing and shipping process was relatively straightforward, we did face delays getting the tablets through Jordanian customs under the UNHCR duty free license. It took careful coordination and diligent efforts by the partner organizations to resolve the issues presented by the customs process. We are very appreciative of the efforts made by UNHCR in clearing this matter and we are pleased to report that all goods are now in service at Za’atari.
TIGER Leadership Development Program (January 11 - 24) The TIGER Leadership Development Program was conducted over two weeks at Za’atari Refugee Camp. Twelve Syrian women who are serving as TIGER Coaches participated in the program where they learned the fundamentals of project based learning, managing a project based classroom, youth empowerment, the OLE Personal Learning System, and the Android operating system. The program was carried out by OLE International, the International Education Association/Lebanon (IEA), and OLE Ghana in partnership with UNHCR and International Relief and Development (IRD). The first week of the program was dedicated to the mechanics of managing and delivering project based learning programs, while the second week was focused on technical skills needed to utilize the OLE Personal Learning System. Each participant received a certificate at the end of the two week program that documented skills learned.
Today OLE placed an order for 150 10" color tablets for the Tiger Girls. This was possible because of the generous contributions that have been made for the Tiger Girls program in the Syrian Refugee camp in Zaatari.
We have been able to upgrade the quality of the digital readers. They are faster, have more memory and can process a wider variety of digial formats. They look and feel like an open source, Android iPad -- for a price of $80 per tablet, delivered to Zaatari.
The gifts we are receiving through OLE's partnership with Global Giving are increasing significantly the number of girls the program can engage and the quality of their learning and doing.
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