Promoting and Protecting Education for Refugees


Quality education is a human right for every child worldwide, regardless of environmental situations. The importance of quality education has been emphasized as it is the fourth agenda in the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2022). Among the environmental situations that hinder quality education are migration and refugee conditions. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2023), there are approximately 7.9 million refugee school-going children, and 48% of the population does not attend school.

The emphasis on quality education among refugee children is based on its benefits in promoting societal equality through basic human rights, protection, enlightenment, and empowerment (UNHCR, 2017). The challenge of accessing and protecting education among refugee is the focus of this study. Shohel (2020) highlighted that providing education for refugees is important, however, refugee camps are associated with trafficking practices, violence, and diseases. Therefore, the main focus of this study will involve using digital modes to provide quality education to refugees, such as videos and animations, to mitigate the barriers associated with refugee conditions.

Literature Review

Different sources have highlighted the plights of refugees in accessing education and the potential of using digital and technology techniques to mitigate the challenge and promote quality education. Taftaf and Williams (2019) discovered that information technology had been successfully applied in a refugee camp setting for educational purposes; however, the limitation associated with its success was language barrier. Smyser (2019) supported Taftaf and William’s (2019) findings on language barriers in fully implementing technology-based learning among refugees. Internet connectivity in refugee camps was also highlighted as a barrier in digital learning (Burkardt et al., 2019; Dridi et al., 2020; Patil, 2019). Additionally, Smyser (2019) advocated using downloadable learning materials, such as videos, that the learners can download later for revision.

 Drolia et al. (2020); Drolia et al. (2022), and Motteram et al. (2020) reported that using mobile phones effectively increased access to education and provided quality education to the refugees. However, the authors discovered that using mobile phones was inefficient in meeting all the educational needs of the students (Drolia et al., 2020). It was recommended to consider the refugees’ learning needs in designing learning modules using technology modes based on their specific traits (Drolia et al., 2020; Menashy & Zakharia, 2019; Motteram et al., 2020).

Halkic and Arnold (2019) highlighted that education, language, and cultural sensitivity are among the main issues hampering the success of digital learning among refugees. O’Keeffe (2019) found that cross-cultural awareness, the behaviour of the tutor, and online communication hindered the success of digital learning in an in zone setting (O’Keeffe, 2019). Viczko et al. (2021), Unlu and Ergul (2021), and Sutton et al. (2021) recommended collaboration among the stakeholders in the education system to develop culturally and socially sensitive learning programs for refugees.

Gallagher and Bauer (2020) and Safa’a (2022) reported that digital literacy is important in equipping refugee students in the job market with skills and knowledge that can be used to empower and enlighten individuals. Conversely, Kathleen (2020) reported that despite the increase in digital learning opportunities for refugees, their acceptability in the community remains a problem. Likewise, Tulibaleka (2020) found that the lack of career guidance and awareness lessons among refugees hinders their acceptability in societies.

The main gap identified in the existing literature is the lack of cultural and social content inclusivity in developing learning materials that refugees can use. Learning materials should be customized to fit the context of the refugee students to promote inclusivity and the provision of quality education. Additionally, to promote understanding among the students, the learning materials should include downloadable content such as videos.


The main goal of this project is to highlight and address the gaps, opportunities, and challenges that the humanitarian sector currently faces in offering quality education. The goal of the study will be achieved by exploring the challenges that hinder access to teaching and learning opportunities at the refugee camps and if the current learning modes are effective. Also, the study’s purpose is to determine if using online videos and animation as a learning mode is associated with student performance. The implementation of the study was based on the standards of the education coaches.

Educational coaches are responsible for promoting instructional technology learning mode based on their roles as implementation experts and capacity builders (International Society for Technology in Education [ISTE], 2023). The standards applied in this study will include collaborator, learning designer, and change agent. Change agent roles involve promoting technology to build equitable and continuous access to quality learning by facilitating a connection, reorganizing educators, using digital learning tools equally, formulating a shared vision, and cultivating a supportive culture (ISTE, 2023). In this study, the researcher will design the videos that will be used for learning using tools such as Synthesia and Vyond videos. The UNHCR has supported technology to ensure continuity of education and access to quality education among refugee students.

The collaborator standard will be applied in the project to create productive relationships with the local instructors and educators to improve learning outcomes and institutional practices (ISTE, 2023). In this study, the researcher will collaborate with the local instructors and visit one of the refugee camps to assess the progress and encourage the local instructors. The learning designer standard entails designing the teaching modules in a manner that meets the requirements of the learners (ISTE, 2023). In this study, the researcher will design the learning/teaching module and consider the learners by including avatars to fit the culture of the students. Table 1 shows the ISTE coaching standard 3 performance indicators.

Table 1

The ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Performance Indicators

Standard 3: Integrating online learning using digital tools such as Vyond and Synthesia videos in refugee camps. Teachers will incorporate the use of digital tools that are culturally sensitive in refugee camps to improve the learning experiences of the students and solve learning issues among vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Activity 3: Online learning will involve the use of avatars that fit the culture of the students. For example, African avatars for students in Kenya and Niger refugee camps and Middle Eastern in Jordan camps. The activity will commence by encouraging the educators to incorporate the use of digital tools in learning. The students will be engaged in online learning, and after the sessions, a test will be issued to determine their performance and make a conclusion on the effectiveness of using culturally appropriate online learning modes.
a. Determine the length of the videos to be used during the session Addresses: The factors that would determine the length of the videos include the learning content, the age of the participants, and the lesson period. The ideal length of the video is 5-10 minutes, which is the appropriate time period. The session will involve online classes only using digital tools such as Synthesia and Vyond videos.
b. Cultivate and demonstrate active and engaged learning experiences by collaborating and building a trusting relationship with the educators to use digital learning tools in the refugee camps Addresses: The project coach will encourage and mentor the educators to use Synthesia and Vyond videos among students in refugee camps. The educators will incorporate the use of digital tools during their lessons. The selection of Synthesia and Vyond videos was based on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create avatars, speed, and their ability to create videos in more than 120 languages. The tools have the option to customise the avatars to match the requirements of the clients. Therefore, African and Middle Eastern-based avatars will be used in the videos and animation to fit the culture of the students. The digital tools selected enable the incorporation of different data visualisation models, such as word clouds, that can help engage the students during the lessons. 
c. Incorporating content knowledge in the videos that will be used during online learning by collaborating with the educators and the teachers to ensure cultural sensitivity and content that aligns with the required standards  Addresses: The coach will engage with the educators to ensure that relevant content is included in the online learning and also regard the cultural sensitivity of the students. The educators will be actively engaged in formulating the learning content and training on how to use digital tools to promote the learning experience of the students.
d. Model and customise support for educators to ensure the effective and accurate use of technology to enhance student learning Addresses: The project manager will coach and encourage the educators on the use and incorporation of digital tools and online learning models in the curriculum to improve the learning experiences of the students. The learning videos will be customised with avatars that fit the cultural background of the students. For example, in Kenya and Niger, African avatars will be used, while in Jordan, Middle Eastern avatars will be utilised. Develop learning opportunities for the students that stimulate computational thinking to solve problems. Regulate and monitor the use of technology among the students. In addition, to the avatars, the educators will curate closed caption videos that will help engage the students more. Some of the information presented in the videos will be printed out, especially images and figures, and issued to the students. At the end of each session, frequently asked questions with answers will be displayed.
e. Collaborate with the educators in developing learning content, selecting the digital tools, addressing their issues related to online learning and the use of the digital tools, and customise personal support for the educators Addresses: The educators get support on the use of digital tools and are encouraged on collaborative participation to improve online learning among the students. Before launching the online learning at the refugee camps, the project manager and the educators will hold a meeting to prepare and mentor the teachers to incorporate novice education strategies. After every session, the educators will submit a comprehensive report and discuss it with their colleagues. Also, the project manager will visit some of the refugee camps and make an assessment of the progress. After the online learning period, the educator and the project manager will conduct a meeting to discuss the strengths, limitations, and areas of improvement in incorporating online learning in refugee camps.

Four research questions will be addressed in this study. Three questions target the local instructors at refugee camps, while one will focus on the refugee students. Three questions used in the qualitative phase are included;

  1. What challenges hinder access to teaching at the refugee camps?
  2.  What challenges hinder access to learning opportunities at the refugee camps?
  3. What factors can be implemented to promote and protect education thought the assessment of quality and the continuity of education in refugee camps?

Quantitative research questions will enable the collection of numeric data that can be analysed using statistical means. The questions will be issued to refugee students in the three countries. The quantitative research question that will be addressed in the project is:

  1. Is there a relationship between meeting the socio-cultural meeting of the students, such as having the avatars resembling the students’ physical features through technologies, such as Synthesia and Vyond videos and student performance in refugee camps?

See Synthesia video below:

See Vyond video below on how to apply what learnt from Synthesia:


An exploratory sequential mixed method design will be used as it enables the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The design entails collecting qualitative data first before proceeding with quantitative data. Qualitative designs are appropriate as it entails data from a natural setting to collect information on the participants’ meanings (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Thus, data on participants’ perceptions of education among refugees will be collected in Kenya, Niger, and Jordan to address the research questions.

Theoretical Framework

A grounded theory will be applied to gain insight into a situation to obtain a deeper viewpoint and perception of the topic under the study (Turner & Astin, 2021). The intent of grounded theory is to develop a theory based on evidence and influenced by participants’ perspectives, progressing beyond depiction and toward a theoretical understanding of a process or occurrence (Cohen et al., 2018; Turner & Austin, 2021). Therefore, the study will apply the grounded theory to help develop theories from the data and evidence on promoting and protecting education among refugees.

Grounded theory was selected in this study to generate a theory that can be used to understand the plight of the children residing in refugee camps in accessing quality education based on the perspectives of the refugee students and the teachers. Therefore, the main reason for selecting grounded theory is to develop a theory based on the information and insights obtained from individuals living in refugee camps (Cohen et al., 2018). Also, grounded theory was developed as it involves constant comparative analysis to compare and contrast the information obtained until no variation can be made (Cohen et al., 2018). The process of comparing and contrasting is based on multiple groups and at different times using a range of techniques (triangulation) to support the theory generated (Cohen et al., 2018). In this study, data and information will be collected from refugees in three countries; Kenya, Jordan, and Niger. The information obtained from participants in the three countries will be compared to develop a grounded theory on accessing and promoting education among refugees. In addition, data triangulation will be involved in the study to support and obtain a “perfect” fit for the data (Cohen et al., 2018).

Grounded theory was selected in this study as it applies to areas with little research or knowledge (Turner & Austin, 2021). The use of digital technology to promote and protect education among refugees is a novice component that has not been explored comprehensively. Therefore, conducting a grounded theory will be important as it is based on the participants’ views.

Sampling and Recruitment

         The target population in this study is local instructors and students in refugee camps in Kenya, Niger, and Jordan. The local instructors or teachers were included to help deliver the practical portion of the learning materials to the students already delivered through Synthasia and Vyond videos. The local instructors will aid in assessing the understanding and performance of the students after the online lectures. The students were included as the project assesses the promotion and protection of education among refugees. Lectures will be delivered online through videos and animations, and at the end of the learning sessions, an assessment test will be issued to the students to evaluate their understanding and performance.

         A purposive sampling technique will be applied to recruit participants (local instructors) in the project as it entails selecting individuals with a specified characteristic or with access to information on the subject of interest (Cohen et al., 2018). Additionally, purposive sampling is applied in cases where the researcher focuses on a specific issue or develops a theory by accumulating information and data from diverse sources (Cohen et al., 2018). A sample of 5 local instructors in each country will be included in the project. The sample size is based on saturation which can be attained with a higher or lower number.

Also, a convenience sampling technique will be applied to select the students included in the study. Convenience sampling will be utilized as it involves selecting participants from a readily available sample (Cohen et al., 2018). The required sample size was estimated based on a 95% confidence level; approximately 50 students will be recruited overall, 30 students from Kenya, 10 from Jordan, and probably 10 from Niger.

Data Collection

         Semi-structured interviews and surveys will be used to collect information in the study. Semi-structured will be used to collect information from the local instructors on the student’s access to education, the effectiveness of the learning mode used, and factors to consider in promoting and protecting education in refugee camps. The open-ended questions will be developed by the researcher and used in the qualitative phase. The researcher will conduct the semi-structured interview through audiotaping. However, verbal consent from the instructors will be sought to obtain authorization to record the conversation. A semi-structured interview will be used in the research as it enables the collection of in-depth information as the researcher can ask for clarifications and can be designed to fit the context of the respondents (Cohen et al. 2018).  

A survey will be used to collect student data to determine their performance and satisfaction after applying the online lecture. The study will use a Likert scale to enable the collection and analysis of data collected in the quantitative phase (Cohen et al., 2018). Two surveys will be used to collect information from the students; the first will be used to determine the student’s performance, and the second will be applied to determine the satisfaction level of the students with the online learning mode utilised. The local instructors will administer the surveys.


         Data analysis will be conducted in two stages; qualitative and quantitative phases. The qualitative phase will entail analysing the data obtained from the local instructors to develop a theory on promoting and protecting education among refugees. An NVIVO 12 software will be used to analyse the responses obtained from the participants. A five-step thematic analysis will be applied to analyse the information obtained from the semi-structured interviews. The first step is organising and preparing the data for analysis (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). In this step, the audiotape will be transcribed. The second step is reading the transcribed data (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). In this step, the reader will obtain a general idea based on the participants’ responses and can take notes at the margins of the memos to help understand the responses. The third step is coding the responses by organizing, categorizing, and labelling data with a vivo term (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The labelling of the data is based on the actual language used by the participants. The fourth step is developing themes or descriptions from the coded information (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The themes represent the major findings in the qualitative study and represent the different multiple perspectives of the respondents supported by specific evidence or quotations. The themes developed in this study will be used to guide the process of developing the theory on refugees and education access and promotion. The fifth step is representing the themes in a qualitative narrative form (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Visuals such as tables and figures will be used as aides to the discussion to present process models in theory development.

         In the quantitative phase, R studio will be used for analysis. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be computed. Data will be collected, including local instructors’ demographic data such as age, gender, country, and years residing in the refugee camp/teaching at the camp. Also, the satisfaction level and performance of the students will be collected using surveys. The descriptive statistics include mean, frequencies, percentages, and standard deviations. Inferential statistics will include a regression analysis to establish if there is a relationship between student satisfaction with the video learning mode and performance. The outcome will be displayed in tables and charts to aid data presentation and interpretation.

Anticipated Problems

         The anticipated problems in the study include biases, time-consuming, and verifications of the responses obtained from the respondents. The potential bias in the study includes response bias while conducting the semi-structured interviews. However, the bias can be mitigated by interviewing instructors from three different settings and comparing the responses to determine the validity and reliability of the findings. A potential bias is a representativeness bias caused by the sample selected in the study. Also, three different settings will be included in the study to ensure representativeness.

         Conducting a qualitative analysis is time-consuming as the researcher has to read and re-read the transcripts to identify the emerging themes in the responses obtained. Therefore, the study will be launched in September 2023 and implemented through September 2024. The verification of the responses will be conducted by comparing the responses of instructors from the three countries, and the researcher will visit one of the sites to observe the conditions and learning practices at the refugee camps.    

Ethical Considerations

The researcher will adhere to the University of Geneva requirements and British Sociological Association guidelines. A formal request will be submitted to the institutional review board of the University of Geneva with the proposed study to obtain permission to conduct the study. Data collection will commence after receiving authorization from the university. The Belmont report principles; respect, beneficence, and justice will adhere to ensure the respondents’ safety, privacy, and confidentiality. Beneficence entails maximizing the benefits and minimising the risk (Lantos, 2020). The study is not associated with any risks or harm to the participants. Respect involves acknowledging the respondents as autonomous people who can make informed decisions (Lantos, 2020). Participation is voluntary, and the instructors can withdraw at any time. Justice entails equal selection of participants and distribution of the benefits (Lantos, 2020). The digital research ethics guidelines in British Sociological Association will be observed. The participants will be assigned pseudocodes to promote the confidentiality of the participants.

The ethical considerations for the researcher will focus on adhering to standards such as (a) integrity and objectivity by complying with the ethical guidelines by the university, association, and Belmont report. Also, (b) competence and qualifications, (c) conflict of interest, (d) researcher-participant relationship, (e) reflexivity and self-reflection. The researcher will report any ethical issues or conflicts of interest to the university ethics board.

Project Plan/Timeframe

The project will be launched in September 2023, and data collection will be conducted at the end of the year in June 2024. The In-zone project implementation will commence from June to August 2024.

Potential Impact and Dissemination

The study findings will be disseminated to the university library, and an abstract will be sent to the UNESCO journal for peer review and publication. The findings can be applied in education and national planning for allocating resources required for purchasing technology tools such as computers and learning tablets. Additionally, the success of using videos and technology in providing quality education can be applied in other service delivery sectors to ensure that the needs of the refugees at the camp are met.


Burkardt, A. D., Krause, N., & Rivas Velarde, M. C. (2019). Critical success factors for the implementation and adoption of e-learning for junior health care workers in Dadaab refugee camp Kenya. Human Resources for Health17, 1-10.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education. Routledge.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.

Dridi, M. A., Radhakrishnan, D., Moser-Mercer, B., & DeBoer, J. (2020). Challenges of blended learning in refugee camps: When internet connectivity fails, human connection succeeds. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning21(3), 250-263.

 Drolia, M., Sifaki, E., Papadakis, S., & Kalogiannakis, M. (2020). An overview of mobile learning for refugee students: Juxtaposing refugee needs with mobile applications’ characteristics. Challenges11(2), Article 31.

Drolia, M., Papadakis, S., Sifaki, E., & Kalogiannakis, M. (2022). Mobile learning applications for refugees: A systematic literature review. Education Sciences12(2), 96.

Fincham, K. (2020). Rethinking higher education for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Research in Comparative and International Education15(4), 329-356.

Gallagher, M., & Bauer, C. (2020). Refugee higher education and future reconstruction efforts: Exploring the connection through the innovative technological implementation of a University Course in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Current Issues in Comparative Education22(1), 1-22.

Hali, B., & Arnold, P. (2019). Refugees and online education: Student perspectives on need and support in the context of (online) higher education. Learning, Media and Technology44(3), 345-364.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2023). ISTE standards: Coaches.

Lantos, J. D. (2020). The Belmont Report and innovative clinical research. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 63(2), 389-400.

Menashy, F., & Zakharia, Z. (2020). Private engagement in refugee education and the promise of digital humanitarianism. Oxford Review of Education46(3), 313-330.

Motteram, G., Dawson, S., & Al-Masri, N. (2020). WhatsApp supported language teacher development: A case study in the Zataari refugee camp. Education and Information Technologies25(6), 5731-5751.

O’Keeffe, P. (2020). The case for engaging online tutors for supporting learners in higher education in refugee contexts. Research in Learning Technology28. 1-15.

Patil, A. (2019, January). The role of ICTs in refugee lives. In Proceedings of the tenth international conference on information and communication technologies and development (pp. 1-6).

Sewall, J., Miamidian, H. M., Tippens, J. A., & Nyaoro, D. (2021). Social and structural determinants of urban refugee education in a Kenyan context. Africa Education Review18(3-4), 1-22.

Shohel, M. M. C. (2020). Education in emergencies: Challenges of providing education for Rohingya children living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Education Inquiry, 13(1), 104-126.

Smyser, H. (2019). Adaptation of conventional technologies with refugee language learners: An overview of possibilities. Language, Teaching, and Pedagogy for Refugee Education15, 125-139.

Sutton, D., Kearney, A., & Ashton, K. (2021). Improving educational inclusion for refugee-background learners through appreciation of diversity. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-18.

Taftaf, R., & Williams, C. (2020). Supporting refugee distance education: A review of the literature. American Journal of Distance Education34(1), 5-18.

Tulibaleka, P. O. (2022). Refugee education: Refugees’ perceptions of educational challenges in Uganda. International Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Studies14(1), 38-45.

Turner, C., & Astin, F. (2021). Grounded theory: What makes a grounded theory study? European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing20(3), 285-289.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2017). Protecting the right to education for refugees.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2023). Education.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2023b). Refugee connected education challenge.

United Nations. (2022). Quality education.

Unlu, N. A., & Ergul, H. (2021). A critical evaluation of the education policies on Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan. International Journal of Curriculum and Instruction13(2), 1694-1708.

Viczko, M., Détourbe, M. A., & McKechnie, S. (2021). Understanding networks of actors involved in refugee access to higher education in Canada, England and France: A digital comparative approach. Learning and Teaching14(3), 22-51.

Comments are closed.