Instant Network Schools: Improving learning for 510,000 students
The project in brief
Currently in four countries: Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania and South Sudan
Planning to be in six countries by 2025: Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Egypt and Ghana
Expectation of renewal.
Instant Network Schools enable young refugees and teachers to access digital educational content and the internet, improving the quality of education in some of the most marginalised communities where Vodafone operates.
- Leverage the transformational power of technology to improve the lives of one million refugees and host communities by providing access to quality education by 2025.
- Improve learning outcomes for 510,000 learners in six UNHCR priority countries (Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania, Egypt, Mozambique and Ghana).
- Empower 10,000 teachers with the latest digital educational tools to deliver quality education.
- For 210,000 learners who have never used a computer to become digitally literate.
- Support the Global Compact on Refugees and host governments’ inclusion strategy.
- Support UNHCR’s Education strategy, in particular Connected Education, and Governments digital learning strategies.
Since 2013, Vodafone Foundation has invested €9 million to deploy 36 Instant Network Schools. Vodafone Foundation will invest €13 million in cash, €5.6 million in connectivity and leverage partners support of €1.2 million by 2025.
The programme will continue to be implemented with the support of a dedicated team at Vodafone Foundation including staff and 55 specially trained volunteers as well as Vodafone employees with the local support of Vodafone as a company in country.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Connect maginalised classrooms to online digital content.
- UNHCR and donor partners: Ministries of Education from host countries, World Bank, Microsoft.
- UNHCR implementing partners: International Rescue Committee, Lutheran World Federation, Don Bosco, Islamic Relief, CARE.
- Vodafone operating companies including Vodafone Group, Safaricom, Vodacom DR Congo, Vodacom Tanzania, Vodacom Mozambique, Vodafone Ghana, Vodafone Egypt.
Challenges and how they were overcome
- Isolation of camps
- Procurement of systems
- High turnover of teachers and lack of ICT skills in the camps
- Lack of, and cost of, digital educational content aligned with local curriculums
How they were overcome
- Logistic support from UNHCR
- Innovative all-in-a-box technologies and in-kind donations from Vodafone Foundation
- Strong ongoing on-site training programme, local capacity building and robust support systems
- Support existing free platforms (NGO Learning Equality’s Kolibri) and building local capacity to create content
Results of the Good Practice
- INS is a pioneering and holistic programme which already benefited 86,000 students from refugee and host communities and over 1,000 teachers since 2013.
- Up to 300 schools will be fitted with interactive classrooms and connected to the Internet.
- 75% increase of learners and teachers’ digital confidence and competencies.
- 35% increase of teachers’ confidence in lesson planning.
- 25% of lessons supported by digital resources.
- 25% more students to pass secondary exams.
- 25% increase in average exam scores.
- €42 million expansion to 300 INS by 2025 to be announced at the GRF
- First 20 new schools to be opened in July 2020
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
Instant Network Schools (INS) eases the pressures on host countries by strengthening national educational systems and contributing to existing and future connected education strategies. Vodafone Foundation having already invested close to €9 million euros in cash and in-kind since 2013, the programme’s expansion will invest a further €42 million in six countries by 2025, working closely with UNHCR and host governments to sustain and grow the programme beyond the initial target of 300 schools. 60% of new INS will be deployed in public schools in urban areas hosting both nationals and refugees, 40% will be in rural areas and refugee camps.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
INS enhances refugee self-reliance by providing the infrastructure, the latest technology tools and content to improve learning outcomes and digital literacy skills, increase access to tertiary education and improve job and resettlement opportunities. INS uses a holistic approach to connect students, teachers and education practitioners, putting technology at the service of better learning outcomes. Ultimately, INS helps break refugees from isolation, be better integrated into host societies and create more opportunities for rebuilding their lives. So far, more than 86,000 students and 1,000 teachers have benefited from 36 INS in Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo and South Sudan. A study in 2018, showed that INS improved Information and Communications Technology (ICT) literacy of teachers by 125% and of students by 61% in a period as short as 10 months. The programme has also increased teachers and students’ confidence and motivation. It has improved students’ overall academic performance.
Objective 4: Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity
INS supports conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity by strengthening schools infrastructure and conditions in countries of origin such as DR Congo.
Oisín Walton, Instant Network Programme Manager, Vodafone Foundation