Since 2011, at METAdrasi we have offered classes to adult migrants and refugees, and since 2017 we have run a non-formal education programme for children aged 6 to 18, providing classes in Greek, English, German and maths. During January and February 2020 (prior to the COVID-19 outbreak) 418 children attended our classes in Athens and Thessaloniki. 

On 10th March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government took the decision to close all schools and as such our live classes were suspended. In response to this, we took a quick decision to implement a distance learning programme.

  • We launched 23 digital lessons of online learning on the subjects of Greek, English and German, using a variety of digital media and tools. 
  • We chose Google Classroom as our main platform because it allows both synchronous and asynchronous interaction between educators and students. 
  • We created interactive exercises using different free online tools, including Wordwall, Google Forms, Kahoot! and Akelius; these were uploaded to digital classrooms.
  • Learning has taken place in two formats:.

a) Synchronous – these lessons are live streamed through Google Hangouts, Webex, Zoom, Google Duo camera or Skype. There are around 12 to 15 students in each class

b) Asynchronous - educators upload materials to Google Classroom which students access in their own time, answering questions and solving exercises. 

This programme has not been without its challenges. There are many students who do not have access to an internet connection or the necessary equipment (such as a computer or smartphone) for online learning. (Although METAdrasi has been able to provide internet access for some of its regular students by buying data cards.)

However, in a significant way the e-learning programme has enabled METAdrasi’s lessons to continue normally throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has given refugees who live all over Greece the opportunity to gain access to classes during this difficult period. We have therefore decided to continue offering e-learning as a standard option in our education programme, alongside face-to-face learning. You can read more about how we developed our home learning programme in the practitioner guidance paper attached.

Do you have any comments you can share with the community relating to our work, or learnings about how your organisation has approached home learning during the pandemic? Please share, or post any follow-up questions for us at METAdrasi below - we'd love to hear from you.

The attached resources are part of the How We Care series, an innovative space for those working with children and families to share practice. By practitioners, for practitioners. Learnings from 2 other Family for Every Child members, on this theme, have been shared here.