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Koulu On Fire

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Koulu School is a Peer teaching model harnessing the refugee youth to support quality education in the classroom and to create learning opportunities outside it. A friend of BWBKoulu School addresses two problems: scarcity of education resources in emergencies, and young people’s frustration and disempowerment facing lack of opportunities to learn and to contribute to the community.

Although education is the fourth pillar of humanitarian response, resources for organizing it can be scarce leading to short school days, large groups, and www.unhcr.org/3b8a1ba94.pdf”>overwhelmed teacher resources.

Koulu School is a tested peer-to-peer teaching model that consists of skill discovery and learning the basic pedagogical skills for turning these skills into an engaging lesson. It engages youth to support the delivery of quality education, creates opportunities for civic engagement, and strengthens their psycho-social well-being.

It can be utilized to support formal education as well as to create after school activities.In its core is a simple method of training basic teaching skills, based on Finnish education expertise. The training can be delivered in 1,5 hours or extended over a few days. In the end, new peer teachers teach their lessons to the community members.
The pilots have been well-received both by youth and teachers.

The aimed impact is to:

1) Ensure quality learning: Through learning to teach a lesson, youth take more responsibility for their own as well as the shared learning in classroom. This brings in the resources of the community to support the burdened teachers.

2) Strengthen psycho-social well-being: Teaching and supporting their peers is an opportunity for youth to contribute positively to the community. This instills dignity, sense of normalcy and joy. The skills discovery in peer teacher training can also enable creating study and hobby groups outside formal school.

Encouraged by the first tests in EiE context with refugee youth in Greece and Jordan, and in Nepal, we want to develop the concept further.

Koulu School is first targeted towards empowering the displaced youth in refugee situations. the target group is adolescents between 15 to 24 years living in Jordan and in Greece, as this age group is critical but seriously unaddressed. Currently, the number of refugees and migrants is 691,800 and 48,800 respectively. Of these, approximately 30% are in our target group.

The concept is targeted to all genders, however, in our pilots, girls have been particularly excited and empowered by it. To enable the peer-teaching model to root, we will provide training also for teachers, for them to learn to harness the capabilities of students in supporting their peers in the classroom.In EiE context, three pilots (2-4 days / each) have been implemented in Nepal, Greece and Jordan, reaching 250 young people and 40 teachers or trainers.Through the current operations of FCA and its partners,10 000 people can be reached.

If spread to be used in its networks, the scale can reach tens of thousands based on our benchmarking of other peer-to-peer learning models, strengths of Koulu School are:
– Brings (Finnish) state-of-the-art pedagogical theory to practice in fragile contexts
– A method for teaching that is research-based but easy for anyone to adopt
– Requires very little infrastructure and is quick to implement
– Based strongly on youth’s own agency and ownership: everyone finds something to teach and in the trainings the curriculum is truly co-created, without pre-determining what is worth sharing or not, It might not be unique to Koulu but we need to mention that the magic of peer-to-peer teaching – the joy, the empowerment and hope it brings about in people – astonishes us every time and is thought to be harnessed for true impact.The advantages are that we have potential to great scale, not only through FCA’s own operations but its partners, and to great depth through the active research component by Demos Helsinki and Aalto University.



Below is a visual model of Koulu School

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