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Platform collaboration brings free online courses to migrants and refugees

SaorEd platform opens with slate of digital and IT courses
Image: Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

18 January 2022

A new online platform that provides free access to education and training courses for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds throughout Ireland has been launched. A collaborative initiative between three Irish non-profit organisations; Doras, New Horizon, and Dignity Partnership, SaorEd aims to provide free access to a range of entry-level and advanced courses. Initial offerings include English language courses, information technology skills, healthcare, and career preparation courses.

Initial language courses provided on SaorEd include an introduction to the English language, intermediate English for University, English for Arabic speakers, and advanced English for the workplace. The IT Skills study track will cover basic digital skills (in English and Arabic), intermediate IT skills, as well as more advanced courses like Web design with HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

SaorEd provides study programs using open online courses (MOOCs) from reputable education providers. The initial offerings are based on a survey of over 100 people who are in or have transitioned out of direct provision. Over the coming months, the platform will be extended to include courses in other areas that will help open pathways to employment and further education.




John Lannon, Doras CEO, said: “It is difficult for people living in remote areas, particularly Direct Provision centres, to access regular transport to attend in-person training. SaorEd can provide pathways to further education and employment for them. The platform is also of value to parents of young children who may not be able to access mainstream education during the day. It is also accessible to people who face financial barriers to education, who may not be entitled to the Back to Education Allowance, for example.”

“Refugees and asylum seekers are among the most marginalised people in Irish society. Those in direct provision in particular face huge challenges when it comes to managing their mental health and finding ways to participate in Irish society. Education is a doorway to inclusion, connection, and dignity. It opens up doorways of possibility and opportunity that are so critical for people who are often fleeing war, poverty and persecution. Making education and training accessible is vital. There are currently too many obstacles, which is why SaorEd is important. The level of interest in it has already taken us by surprise and the potential is exciting. We are hoping that funders and partners come on board to join us to help build this exciting platform”.

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