Education Syria

mLearning for Syrian children

2013 - 2019
Published on Jan 01, 2013 01:00 AM  -  Updated on Jan 10, 2023 10:22 AM
TSF supported the education of displaced and refugee Syrian children by using digital technologies to expand educational resources and activities.

Context: Conflict
Start date: 10/05/2013
End date: 30/06/2019
Intervention areas:

  • Azaz district, Syria

Activities: mLearning

6 schools supported
3 children centres supported
2 women centres supported
700 to 1,500 children and young women beneficiaries each year


In March 2011, Syria was won by the "Arab Spring" movement that shook the Maghreb and Middle East regimes for several months. The government’s armed response, followed by the militarisation of the revolution, degenerated into a savage conflict for which no solution has been found so far. The direct intervention of foreign powers and various militias has considerably complicated the situation.

Living conditions have become increasingly inhumane for civilians over the past years. The destruction has affected the entire country, including civilian and community infrastructures in their entirety, generating a massive displacement of populations.

The UNHCR estimates that there are 6.3 million internally displaced civilians in Syria, and more than 5.5 million Syrians who have fled to the camps of neighbouring countries (Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey) to escape the war. More than half of the refugees are children, mostly under the age of 11. In 2017, more than 7,400 of the 22,000 schools in Syria were closed or inaccessible, and over 3 million refugee and displaced children are out of school.

In 2012, Télécoms Sans Frontières initiated support to the medical sector with 15 satellite lines and 9 broadband connections in various hospitals across the country. A year later, TSF strengthened its support by intervening in the educational field for displaced children inside Syria or refugees in neighbouring Turkey.

According to UNICEF's 2016 No Place for Children report, it is estimated that 3.7 million Syrian children (one-third of the country’s child population) have been born since the beginning of the conflict five years ago. This figure includes the 306,000 children born as refugees since 2011.

In total, UNICEF estimates that 8.4 million children - more than 80 per cent of all Syrian children - are now affected by the conflict, whether in the country or in neighbouring countries, as refugees.


In the areas of Syria where TSF intervened, these figures translate into many children either lacking access to education or in education system facing war. TSF has chosen to help these children by using digital technologies to expand the educational resources available as well as the activities conducted.

The TSF mLearning project provided access to digital educational resources that children could access via tablets. These resources consist mainly of mobile applications, digitised courses and exercises, and videos. To make them available offline, TSF has created a specific kit to offer resources in Arabic, even in the event of internet and electricity interruptions.

Tablets are "all-in-one" tools that offer many possibilities for creating resources, such as quizzes or interactive documents.

The mLearning project is not limited to the provision of resources. The learning process is also specifically adapted and takes into account not only the possible psychological difficulties encountered by the children, but also the disparities of level existing between the children, irrespective their age.

Based on the advice of professional educators, the mLearning project provides a caring learning environment that respects the learning pace of each child, fostering the enjoyment of learning and positive interactions through group work.

TSF has supported the education of displaced children and Syrian refugees since May 2013 in the Bab-Alsalama IDP camp. Installed spontaneously during the years 2011-2012 to accommodate internally displaced people on the Turkish-Syrian border, 5 kilometers from the city of Azaz, this camp gradually organised and opened one, then two schools. Its population has varied between 5,000 and 15,000 depending on the evolution of the conflict.

TSF’s digital education activities were then offered to other children displaced in the Azaz district, and refugees in the city of Gaziantep in Turkey, 60 km from the Syrian border.

The project has taken different forms since 2013. Initially, the activities started as an extracurricular activity integrated into the school timetable, but without any direct link between the teachers' teaching and the mLearning activities.
Gradually at the initiative of TSF, collaboration between TSF animators and teachers has become closer and the activity has aroused the interest of teachers and principals from schools in the Azaz District.

In Syria, the 2016/2017 school year saw the culmination of collaboration with local schools, as joint courses were set up, as well as several teacher training sessions on the use of resources and digital tools in class.

In the course of 2017, the Turkish government led a restructuring of the education system in the Azaz district, which led TSF to review the form of its activities from October onwards.

Until June 2019, mLearning activities took place in Syria in three Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in partnership with World Vision. The CFS were located in the Bab Alsalama, Bab-Alnour and Sejjo IDP camps, and represented more than 650 beneficiary children. Self-learning activities have also been launched for 50 children in the Sejjo, Alrayan and Azaz camps.

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Whether in relation to schools or through its own activities, TSF focuses on 3 basic subjects: Mathematics, Arabic (literacy), and English.

To move forward step by step on each topic and consolidate achievements, a three-step learning process is applied:

  1. Discovery
  2. Practice
  3. Validation

The activities also address other subjects such as History, Geography and Science, as well as awareness on social issues - adolescence, the role of women, the importance of education, and prevention against child marriage.

TSF’s approach aims to offer children enjoyable activities while drawing on their natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge. By practising the proposed learning method, they also progress independently, and can in some cases discover particular interests and memory techniques, for example, while learning to work with others. All of these elements support children in coping with the harsh conditions in which they live and the trauma of an endless war.

Centres supported by TSF since the beginning of the activity (only current centres are referenced on the map):

  • Alsalama School, Bab Al salama Camp, Syria (2013-2017)
  • New Alsalama School, Alsalama Camp, Syria (2015-2017)
  • Um Al Momineen school, Azaz, Syria (2016-2017)
  • Abo Baker School, Azaz, Syria (2016-2017)
  • Rainbow Centre, Gaziantep, Turkey (2016-2017)
  • CFS in Alsalama, Sejjo, Alnour Camps, Azaz District, Syria (2017-2019)

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