At the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE), the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, "reaffirmed its commitment to taking meaningful action" to provide out-of-school children (OOSC) with access to quality primary education.
Deepening its network of innovative collaborations, EAA launched a new mobile classroom prototype, created in collaboration with the late Dame Zaha Hadid.
The classroom prototype was developed in partnership between EAA and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and due to be produced by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).
The SC has committed to fund a minimum of 100 structures. The classroom features a number of innovative design solutions that will allow it to function as both a learning space and community hub for those living through the realities of current day migration and displacement.
“Our approach was based on the objective of creating spaces that offer customised and transformative solutions focused on education and the support of students’ and communities’ social and emotional well-being,” said Charles Walker, director, ZHA. The classrooms represent the evolution in Hadid’s work with tented structures.
They are constructed around the following criteria: feasibility, constructability, modularity, flexibility and thermal condition. The design and construction are economically viable, meeting the restraints of their surroundings, including available resources, material and labour. Each 12m by 8m module will serve as a classroom for 45 students.
The modular system allows for flexibility in the assembling and dismantling processes and is optimised for flat-pack logistic demands. Additionally, the classroom prototype will enhance the thermal performance of the currently available classrooms by addressing fabric quality, ventilation possibilities and lighting conditions.
To propel this project forward, EAA formed a partnership with the SC.
“We have always said that our vision for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar would be to ensure a legacy was left long after the last ball has been kicked in 2022,” said Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the SC.
“This project with EAA and Zaha Hadid Architects perfectly captures that vision. Much like Qatar’s modular stadiums, these innovative structures have been designed with a legacy usage in mind and will be used during the tournament for a variety of purposes before being dismantled, repurposed and reconstructed into classrooms that will be donated to countries around the world and help thousands of out of school children,” he said.
The SC, in partnership with EAA, has chosen the project as a key feature of its post-2022 sustainability legacy to further the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly important as Her Highness is a UN SDG Advocate for Quality Education (SDG4).
The converted classroom structures are planned to be deployed post-2022 in Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Myanmar, Palestine, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Uganda, a press statement notes.
In another effort to reach OOSC, the director-general for Development Co-operation at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Giorgio Marrapodi; director of the Unesco Iraq office, Paolo Fontani; and EAA representative Leena al-Derham, agreed on the development of a joint project in Iraq and signed an agreement with both parties, with the support of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
Currently, EAA and Unesco operate a project that is implemented by an agreement between Education Above All and Unesco in Iraq and with support from the QFFD, targeting 150,000 OOSC in the governorates of Babil, Baghdad, Erbil, Ninewa, Salah Al Din and Thi Qar.
Upon completion, the proposed project will rehabilitate 10 schools and provide 17,000 children in the governorates of Salah al-Din and Baghdad with school kits and targeted enrolment campaigns.
"Innovative agreements with partners, focused on systemic change, are a path towards transforming education and making it accessible to every child, we thank the Italian government for the support of the Iraq project and looking forward working together in other countries," said al-Derham.