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Educating Syrian Refugees

College students from around the world have been educating Syrian refugees via Skype. According to Vocativ, 35 percent of Syrian refugees are of school age. Unfortunately, the conflict in Syria has interrupted their ability to learn. However, the Paper Airplanes program has provided a solution.

University students from around the world have volunteered in educating Syrian refugees via Skype, especially in English. Syrian students receive tutoring for many reasons, some of which include preparing for tests like the SAT and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Learning English is imperative for Syrian refugees. According to The Williams Record, English is often necessary because it “aids in the resettlement process, creates employment opportunities and is increasingly important for gaining an education in Middle Eastern countries that teach predominantly in French and English.”

Tutoring does not only benefit the refugees but their tutors as well. Educating Syrian refugees via Skype gave tutors the opportunity actually to do something about the Syrian crisis. Before, a lot of international students were frustrated with their helplessness over the situation, so they jumped at the chance to help in any way that they could.

The Williams Record also illustrated how, in educating Syrian refugees via Skype, the tutors found commonality with their Syrian tutees. One of the tutors in the article, for example, bonded with her tutee over soccer, surprised that she made the connection.  There are, however, risks in educating Syrian refugees via Skype. A poor internet connection, as discussed in Vocativ, can stop tutoring in its tracks.

Regardless, Skype has had an impact on Syrian refugees, such that many refugees are educating others through this platform as well. A new program, NaTakallam, founded by Aline Sara, connects Syrian refugees with people who want to learn Arabic. This program gives refugees the opportunity to both pay it forward and create an income for themselves.

Cortney Rowe