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Showing posts from August, 2017

Whose reality counts? The donors or the beneficiaries?

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I have spent over 15 years in the field of teaching, teacher training and school management. I have been interested in observing and understanding how do educational initiatives make a difference in people's lives. When I decided to do my PhD research, it was clear for me That will study issues related to the impact of education on people's lives, well-being and status. This opened my eyes to the concept of “Empowerment”.  Empowerment, a buzzword that has been used and sometimes overused, especially in the field of international development. But to clear my mind from all the tens of definitio, I decided to stick to the World Bank definition: “the capacity of individuals or groups to make purposeful and effective choices in the interest of pursuing a better life for themselves” (Walton, 2003, p.3). Empowerment is a complex term with endless interpretations, due to its multi-contextual (political, socio-cultural, economic…) and multi-dimensional (individual, community, national,…

Coaching and Mobile Mentoring for Refugee Educators Course...Accomplished

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I have just finished this 6-week amazing course on coaching and mentoring of teachers in crisis contexts. It was organized by the Carey Institute for Global Good and led by Amazing Dr Rosemary Arca. I really did enjoy it.

The Course explores how to coach refugee educators; discusses coaching methods and routines that support faculty including examples of effective lessons, weekly messages and lesson comments; and include discussion on reflective practice and provide strategies to support faculty as they learn and implement the practice to deepen reflection on their work. Learning facilitator: Professor Emerita Rosemary Arca, author of the Coaching Field Guide for the City University of New York (CUNY) Reflective Practice Institute. 

The course's learning objectives: The framing questions are: 1. What is reflective coaching and why is it a powerful tool? 2. What expertise leads to successful coaching? 3. How is skill in the craft of coaching developed? 4. What activities enrich a co…

التعليم الإلكتروني بدون إنترنت للمجتمعات المهمشة

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التعليم الإلكتروني بدون إنترنت للمجتمعات المهمشة
منى يونس


عقد في الفترة من الخامس إلى السادس من أكتوبر/تشرين الأول الماضي في العاصمة الأميركية واشنطن مؤتمر التعليم عبر تطبيقات المحمول، والذي استهدف عرض وإبراز التقنيات والحلول المبتكرة لتوفير التعليم عبر التقنيات الحديثة، ولا سيماالهاتف المحمول.
وبحث المؤتمر مواضيع مثل توفير المحتوى لذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة، محتويات تدريبية وداعمة للمعلمين، والتعليم للاجئين والمجتمعات المهمشة.

وفي إطار عرض التقنيات الحديثة لتوفير المحتوى التعليمي للاجئين والمهمشين في دول العالم الثالث، تم استعراض عدد من التقنيات الحديثة التي استطاعت أن تتغلب على مشاكل غياب البنية التحتية لخطوط الإنترنت، وارتفاع تكلفة المكالمات الهاتفية والأجهزة الإلكترونية مثل الحاسب اللوحي.

وكان من بين الحلول المبتكرة التي تم عرضها "كوليبري"، وهو تطبيق تقني لا يعتمد على توصيل المعلومات أو المحتوى من خلال خطوط الإنترنت الثابتة والمستقرة. ويقول خبراء تكنولوجيا التعليم، إن الحلول المبتكرة لتوفير التعليم عبر التقنيات الحديثة ترتكز على محورين: تقني وتعليمي (تربوي).

الشق التقني من أجل ضم…

My Research.... a daunting, yet enjoyable learning journey

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My PhD research is a real learning journey. I do enjoy it. However, it is time consuming, exhausting and daunting. I have aside, on another space a JOURNAL where I observe my day to day progress, not only on the research side, but the more general side of reaching towards my FAAAAAAAAAAAR Reaching dream--> to be an expert, a real valuable one, in the area of Education in Emergencies... to add to the field and make a difference.

This space here is just a synopsis of what my research will tackle. To give you an overview, very quickly though, it falls in the grey area between three fields of enquiry: EiE /  ICT4E / Tertiary  Education.  


I will every now and then publish bits and pieces that will be parts of the research. 
I hope everyone reaches here, will enjoy reading it  :)

My PhD research... a quick teaser

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The below is a quick teaser, overview or let us say ABSTRACT of the work in progress.... still a looooooooooooooong way to go, but I really do hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel.



“Refugee access to higher education is less than 1%” (UNHCR, 2014 ).  “Language and Academic Skills and E-Learning Resources programme (LASER)” is one of those emerging solutions. This EU-funded and British Council implemented programme supports over 3000 displaced Syrian students and disadvantaged youth in Jordan to re-integrate them into the higher education system. This project provides language training, academic readiness skills, coaching and distance education programmes. LASER consists of two key components: 1) face-to-face English and academic skills courses, delivered by experienced British Council trainers over 100 hours; and 2) short online courses (MOOCS AND SPOCS) as well as internationally-accredited online degree courses in partnership with Amity University and the Open University (…

Can't Wait to Learn - Qatar-based Team Lead

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Can't Wait to Learn (CWtL) Project 
Can’tWait to Learn (CWtL) proposes new cost-effective solutions to the urgent challenges facing education for children in emergencies. By utilising innovative technological solutions with a focus on serious gaming, CWtL builds on concepts which have been successfully piloted in Sudan.
Can’t Wait to Learnhas the potential to provide out-of-school children with access to education opportunities, especially in rural areas where no formal schools exist. The programme uses education technology as part of a model of education which is offering certified curriculum level content through applied gaming and personalised pupil engagement.
The role of Qatar-based volunteer team A team of six developed Arabic stories, that were aligned to set grammar lessons. My role as Team Lead was to bridge the communication between the team members and the development team in Amsterdam. I additionally supported with tasks related to linguistic checking and diacritics, by c…

Towards bottom-up participatory approaches to evaluate people's empowerment

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Over the past decades a paradigm shift took place, from a top-down conventional to a bottom-up participatory development agenda, envisioning empowerment as an outcome of participation, due to its respect for local knowledge and ability to facilitate local ownership (Chamber, 1994). New top-down participatory approaches, commonly referred to as ‘participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) emerged. PM &E approaches differ from the conventional approaches, in that they seek to actively engage project stakeholders, while assessing the project’s progress and results (The World Bank, n.d.) . According to Rietbergen-McCracken & Narayan (1998) , there are four main principles all kind of PM&E approaches follow: Local people are active participants, not just sources of information Stakeholders evaluate, outsiders facilitate Focus on building stakeholder capacity for analysis and problem-solving Process builds commitment to implementing any recommended corrective action.

Because …

The Evaluation of Empowerment, why is it so challenging?

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The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is considered one of the greatest contributors to the development of evaluation policies and guidelines in the field of international development initiatives. According to the OECD, evaluation is a systemic and objective assessment, of an ongoing or completed project, programme or policy, its design, implementation and results. The goal of this undertaking is to “determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, developmental efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. An evaluation should provide information that is credible and useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process of both recipients and donors” (OECD, 1991,p.5).

Evaluating what happened during and after the delivery of a development programme aims to observe if empowerment has been achieved. This involves tracking changes in relationships. However, due to the dynamic, complex and contextual nature of empow…

ICT4E of Refugees: A window for Hope towards Empowerment?

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“The use of information and communication technology (ICT) has the potential to support, enhance, and enable education for the most marginalized, affected by war, natural disasters, and the rapid spread of disease.”(Dahya, 2016, p.3)

Despite those strong words, many scholars commented on the impact of ICT on learning and empowerment with great uncertainty. “It is generally believed that ICTs can empower teachers and learners…However, there are currently very limited, unequivocally compelling data to support this belief” (Trucano, 2005) . Dorothea Klein (2009), who viewed ICT4E as a sub-set of ICT for development (ICT4D), tried to understand why there is until now not enough evidence to prove specific impacts of technology on the (dis)empowerment of populations, to whom development programmes are directed. She highlighted two reasons. First, on the theoretical level, there is a mainstream trend of conceptualizing the impact of ICT using economic growth discourses “which is too narrow to…

Education for Refugees... a multifaceted driver to development

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Beyond being a human right, it can be viewed as a multi-faceted driver to development: The development of refugees as communities and individuals; the development of their host countries and the development of their original home country.

For refugees:Education in general, in the context of an emergency, especially that of conflict/crisis, can play a “critical role in normalizing the situation for the child and in minimizing the psychosocial stresses experienced when emergencies result in the sudden and violent destabilization of the child’s immediate family and social environment” (Pigozzi, 1999, p.2). Education can be a support mechanism, supporting children and youth in their struggle to deal with their daily life challenges and with their future. When enrolled in an educational setting children and youth are able to deal with their worries, aspirations, and hopes more confidently and effectively.

Approximately one third of the population affected by the Syrian crisis is young peop…

Higher Education for Refugees...Why do we miss the HUMAN RIGHTS perspective?

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Historically, higher education has been used as a means of reproducing the elites of countries. However, this started to be challenged and changed since the end of world war II (Bienefeld, 2003), and specifically after the announcement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 declaring that

“Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit (Article 26.1) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (Article 26.2)”.

Three years later, the ‘Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees’ was declared. A supplementary protocol was attached to it in 1967. Contrary to the Universal Declarat…

Refugee, migrant, asylum seeker... Who is who?

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Refugees: There is an ongoing debate related to how to term Syrians, who have fled their home country in the past 6 years. Three prevalent terms used, especially in the media, to describe those who crossed the borders to seek refuge in another neighboring country: refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Again, to stay aligned with internationally set and agreed upon definitions, this research will confine itself to the definition provided by the Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967. A refugee is someone:
owing to well- founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is un…