As part of efforts to empower Syrian refugees in Jordan, 2,000 Syrian youth from the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps graduated on August 27th from the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) programme.
The programme, implemented by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) with the support of UNICEF and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provides an internationally accredited IT course that "seeks to enhance the skills and capabilities of Syrian youth", the NRC said in a statement.
The programme trains participants in seven computer modules: computer essentials, online essentials, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, using databases, and online collaboration.
Participants receive internationally recognised certificates upon completing tests online.
Serving refugee communities
"The ICDL is the most popular course among young refugees in the camps, as it enables them to build basic information technology (IT) skills they need to pursue their education and employment goals," said Paul Fean, youth advisor at the NRC.
The skills they gain provide them with the chance to give back to their communities, he said.
"Many graduates of the programme apply their skills as IT volunteer trainers ... as a way to serve their community," he said.
The accredited courses are essential for the refugee youth to gain skills according to international standards and obtain the certificate required to continue their education and find employment, said Fean.
Syrian refugee Iman Ajoub, 21, said she seeks to develop her digital and computer skills to be able to teach her friends and increase her chances of getting a job in the future.
"I enrolled in this training course because I wanted to obtain the international license and ... to become a skilled computer user," she said.
"In the future, I aspire to become a computer teacher at a school or an IT centre and to prove to everyone that I am capable of being a leader," she said.
Ajoub said taking part in the programme helped her learn a great deal.
"The course is wonderful and important, the teacher is very proficient and the way of conveying the information to the students is excellent," she said.
"Through this class, I intend to advance myself and my community in the future."
A future in IT
"This course has had a huge impact on my life," Syrian refugee Yasser Obeid told Al-Mashareq.
"I love computers and my goal is to become a proficient computer user," he said. "I enrolled in this training course to obtain an official international certificate, which I will use to look for work in this field."
Obeid said he intends to teach the ICDL course to people who did not have the opportunity to take the programme or study computing.
"I am now excited about the future ... I have decided to study computer science and am confident in my ability to move forward and achieve my goal," he added.
It is necessary to continue to implement programmes that empower refugees and youth so they do not become a burden on society, economist Hossam Ayesh told Al-Mashareq.
"Teaching youth and refugees information technology is essential for success in this day and age," he said, adding that it is a key prerequisite for getting a job and supporting the national economy.