“I hope they will like this field and will continue studying it in the future” – How parents see the Lab4Future

Publication date: Sep 28, 2020
At Télécoms Sans Frontières, we attach great importance to the beneficiaries’ feedback on our actions, they are the reason for what we do and only they can truly tell us if it’s useful. This is why we decided to ask parents of the children who attend our Lab4Future activities what they thought of them.

Lama, an engineer and TSF animator, led four interviews with Syrian refugees, parents of the children attending the center we support in Gaziantep, Turkey. During COVID-19, most activities have been adapted to remote learning. We therefore wanted to know if these activities have been useful for the children, if they enjoyed them. The responses we had were very positive, most of the parents agreeing that they are indeed useful. They allowed the children to really improve their skills in computing, programming, Maths and Arabic.

Depending on their age, adapting to school in a completely foreign language can be very hard, even more so if the education has been interrupted for all kinds of reasons (fleeing the war, living in refugee camps, etc.), meaning the children do not have the same level as other children their age. This point has been taken into account by TSF on how, first the mLearning, and now the Lab4Future, have been designed. All activities are adapted to each child, regardless of their level and skills, allowing children of all ages to learn from scratch or pick up where they had left off, and most of all, to evolve and little by little, master those skills. As Mrs. Mohammad mentions, “[the classes] are adapted to the student and what they are able to learn”. This has also a great influence on the children’s self-esteem, as it might be very hard sometimes to not be at the same level as your peers. Moreover, the activities are organized in groups, fostering teamwork and peer-learning, and allowing children to then create new activities themselves, that other students might do. This also fosters creativity and gives a sense of responsibility for children in a fun way.

We then asked the parents what they thought of our activities at the center, outside of COVID-19 period. Mrs. Amani told us that “the activities are perfect, they contain programming and Arabic, it makes the kids use their brains well. My children do homework and study 2 to 3 hours in your center daily”. Mrs. Nasser echoes this opinion, saying that “it makes their brains active and better.

Finally, given that one of TSF’s goals with this program is to ensure that children have digital bases and tools, which are essential for their future, we asked parents if they thought these activities were useful for their children’s future. For Mrs. Mohamad, “Of course it can help them! Especially in programming”. Mrs. Mohammad agrees, “sure it will help them, it gives them expertise in programming, reading and writing, they spend their time wisely and it will of course help them in the future”. Mrs Amani goes even further by saying that “it gives them ideas about programming, robots and computer and I hope they will like this field and will continue studying it in the future”.

Mrs. Mohammad notes, before the end of the interview, that “your impact is clear, my son wasn’t able to read and now he’s starting to read and write”. At Télécoms Sans Frontières, we are happy this project is making a difference in the lives of children who have had such a complicated and unstable childhood.

Please support this project by donating in the following link: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/digital-education-for-syrian-refugee-children/
You can find the video interview here: https://youtu.be/D-uVRSZThfM

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