A new online education platform for international protection applicants, refugees, and underserved communities in Ireland called SaorEd will be launched in the coming weeks.

SaorEd will provide free access to a range of entry-level and advanced courses. Initial offerings will include English language courses, information technology (IT) skills, healthcare, and career preparation courses.

The courses will be mostly in English, with some in Arabic. Navigation interfaces will be available in Arabic and Farsi.

SaorEd 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.

Initial language courses provided on SaorEd will 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 (including a course on ‘Living in a Digital World’), as well as more advanced courses like web design with HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

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 at any time, in 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.

For more information, email saoredinfo@gmail.com or follow us on social media.

Twitter: @saor_ed

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