Michael G. Sheppard | Ed TechInnovation, in the form of tablets, computers, and mobile networks, is transforming the lives and education of African students. According to the UN Refugee Agency, students living in refugee camps are getting excited about learning because of new ventures in education.

The UNHCR published a report, stating that 65 million+ people have persecution and wars to thank for being uprooted, and more than 21 million of those individuals are refugees. Approximately half of those displaced people are children, and only half are enrolled in primary school. Also, just 22 percent of those learners are at the secondary level, and one percent are enrolled in tertiary education.

An innovative initiative called Instant Network Schools, or INS, brought those innovations and the Nobel laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai to the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya. Community centers and select schools were outfitted with a satellite, mobile network, solar-powered batteries, computer tablets, online learning material, a collection of content. These institutions are continually given IT support and training.

Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the four counties where 31 centers were erected to embolden the children, following the development of the pilot program in Dadaah in 2014. UNHCR has partnered with the UN Refugee Agency, and the Vodafone Foundation to find and fill important gaps in connectivity and resources, These organizations also proved how education in remote places could be improved and boosted by mobile technology.

The displaced children of Africa require special tools to support their studies. INS does the work to service students and support continuity. Refugee children often struggle with limited resources, and bring technology into the classroom helps them to access materials, videos, and pictures that are exciting. Teaching from inadequate textbooks doesn’t have the same appeal as creative community-based solutions and approaches that enhance their educational experience.