Learning against all odds

Migrant and Refugee children in Egypt

Nouran Aly
برنامج اليونيسف لتدريب المعلمين
يونيسف/مصر ٢٠٢٢
16 February 2022

“The importance of education continuation is essential for children’s well-being. We teachers play an important role to ensure no child is left behind”. Arabic teacher Wedad has been educating refugee children at Al Nourani refugee community school in Egypt since 2016. Filled with enthusiasm and eagerness, she speaks about the importance of schools reopening after closures in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

“UNICEF’s Teacher Preparedness Training Package (TPTP) has enabled us to not only safely operate schools but also equipped us with managing ‘back to learning’ techniques.” She reflects on the information she received during the teacher training.

The TPTP was developed by UNICEF as an emergency response tool for teachers and schools. “The TPTP focuses on three main components: Safe School Operations, Well-being and Protection, and Back to Learning,” says Wedad. “Under any conditions, learning should continue whether schools are impacted due to COVID or any other hardship; teachers should utilize distance learning tools and channels to reach the most vulnerable.”

As schools reopened last October across Egypt, Al Nourani refugee community school, among many others, has been putting necessary COVID-19 prevention measures in place. “I always advice my students to wear their masks and maintain an appropriate distance during school hours and at home.” Wedad proudly says.

مستعدون للعودة؟
يونيسف/مصر ٢٠٢٢

“The TPTP highlighted the importance of proper ways of washing hands, regularly using hand sanitizers, and wearing masks at all times,” mentions Wedad. UNICEF procured soaps, stream gel, tissues, handwash, and masks for sixty-six refugee community schools, creating safe learning conditions for over  17,528 migrant and refugee children. “Most of our students don’t have the means to pay for face masks, as such, the reusable cloth masks will help children abide by school safety protocols.”

When schools across Egypt closed for over seven months, UNICEF advocated for the implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control measures to keep schools operating and children learning. UNICEF distributed over 125,000 hygiene supplies and trained 420 teachers from refugee community schools on measures to alleviate the spread of the virus, improve children’s well-being, and support learning after the disruption.

Thanks to generous contributions from The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) and Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM), UNICEF Egypt has supported close to 30,000 children from different nationalities in sixty-six refugee community schools to safely learn online and in-person, despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.