SaorEd provide free access to a wide range of courses for international protection applicants, refugees and other underserved communities in Ireland. These include a range of entry to advanced level courses for English language, information technology, healthcare, and career preparation. The courses are mostly in English, but navigation interfaces are provided in Arabic and Farsi.
The SaorEd platform is intended to fill the gaps in existing education and training programmes. While free English language classes are provided by the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and others, for example, places on these are often difficult to obtain. Yet language skills are essential for the integration and wellbeing of protection applicants and refugees.
SaorEd provides study programs using massive 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.
Many of the SaorEd study programmes are offered exclusively to international protection applicants, with certificates provided to learners on completion. By providing open access to online learning opportunities, it ensures that free education is available any time, any place to underserved communities.
SaorEd is a collaborative initiative from Doras, New Horizon and Dignity Partnership. It is built on the Kiron online learning platform which has been designed specifically for refugees and underserved communities and is already widely used in the Middle East and Europe.