18 new Instant Network Schools have opened in Egypt, providing digital education to refugee and Egyptian students.
Children at Al Farooq Omar school in Cairo had a special day when football star and Instant Network Schools (INS) Ambassador, Mohamed Salah, paid them a surprise virtual visit last month and shared his thoughts on why digital education is so important to their learning.
INS transforms existing classrooms into multimedia hubs for learning, complete with internet connectivity, sustainable solar power and a robust teacher training programme. The content is localised and aligned to national curriculums, which supports disadvantaged learners to study core subjects in the classroom and, crucially, increases access to opportunities for both study and future work opportunities. The programme supports over 129,000 refugee students and learners from local communities in six African countries.
The students in the INS classroom were blown away as the screen turned on and Mohamed Salah appeared. Laughs, cries and giggles filled the room as he called out the names of each of the students and interacted with them individually. The students, some were refugees and others Egyptian, asked the footballer about his childhood and his career. A young boy named Abdelrahman took his chance to ask the footballer a question about his future: “Where do you want to go after Liverpool?”, the question was met with a bright smile by Salah, who in turn asked if the student happened to be a journalist.
Speaking about education, the Premier League’s leading African goal-scorer, said: “I’m always a supporter of a proper education that benefits anyone and everyone that can benefit from new information. It’s a fantastic idea. We need to be proud of something like this.”
Currently, 18 secondary schools in the greater Cairo area have launched the INS programme, and an expansion to more schools is being prepared. Approximately 18,000 students, 360 teachers and (indirectly) 54,000 members of the community in Egypt are reached. Each INS school benefits from connectivity, the establishment of a local content server and the installation of an INS classroom, including a projector, laptop, speaker system and classroom tablets.
“We are pleased to bring joy to the hearts of INS students through such an impressive virtual visit by our inspirational ambassador, Mohamed Salah, and collaborating with UNHCR and the Ministry of Education on such programme serves Vodafone Foundation’s long-standing commitment to inclusive education, which comes at the heart of our strategy and goals.” stated the Chairman of Vodafone Egypt Foundation, Eng. Mohamed Henna.
He added: “Nothing makes us happier than these priceless joyful reactions by the students, and we believe that Salah’s virtual visit will inspire and encourage them to learn and follow their passion.”
Pablo Mateo, UNHCR’s Representative to Egypt, said: “We are very proud of our long-term partnership with Vodafone Foundation, through which we have been able to provide refugee students, Egyptians and their teachers with access to digital education and the Internet, and to improve the quality of education, giving them inspiration, motivation and the opportunity to achieve a better future.”