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23 June Jun 2021 0938 23 June 2021

Lebanon: learning through play with educational mobile games

Thanks to the Back to the Future project, funded by the European Union in Lebanon through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU Madad Fund, shy Mohamad can now take classes remotely and build a bright future that only education can provide

Education is a basic right that provides the key to a brighter future for any child. Yet, since February 2020, thousands of children in Lebanon, among them the most vulnerable including Syrian refugees, have found themselves further excluded from education programs by successive COVID-19 lockdowns and further uncertainty.

In Lebanon, the educational path for children and Syrian refugees was highly jeopardized and resulted in 65% of children not receiving proper education.

Mohamad, a 5-year-old Syrian refugee, came to Lebanon with his mom, Mariam, and his 8-year-old brother, Rami, in 2016. Mariam was seeking safety, protection and a proper education for her boys.

The COVID-19 pandemic made it harder for Mohamad and Rami to get a proper education; however, thanks to their mother’s strong will, she found the Back to the Future Program, and registered Mohamad in the adapted remote Community-Based Early Childhood Education (CB-ECE) activity; “I Learn from Home” done in collaboration with Seenaryo.

Mohamad’s shyness made it hard for him to communicate with the teacher, he started the program with little interest and participation in the classes. But there was another reason for the lack of interest in studying. Mohamad had his attention elsewhere; games on his mobile phone.

Thanks to his mom, the teacher discovered Mohamad’s huge interest in mobile games which was affecting his studies and participation in online classes.

So, the teacher decided to something about it: meet Mohamad’s interests and seek innovative strategies to encourage him to study and participate more. She asked the mother to start downloading learning games and apps on the mobile, where he can follow on with the lessons and do his homework. In no time, the mobile became the device that motivated Mohamad to learn.

He is now more interested in learning and has built a very friendly relationship with his teacher. “I can’t believe it, what a great achievement!!” said Mariam. “I am so grateful” she added.

About the project

Back to the Future is funded by the European Union in Lebanon, through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the EU Madad Fund, and implemented in partnership with AVSI Middle East, Terre des Hommes Italy in Lebanon and War Child Holland in Lebanon.

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