Gaming in Arabic in the prime ministers house

At the home of Prime Minister Erna SolbergOslo.At the home of Prime Minister Erna Solberg.Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

When schools are bombed and teachers gone, you have to think again how to provide Syrian children a chance to learn to read. Two Norwegian funded mobile games are to help.

In a sofa behind the Royal Palace sits a Crown Princess, a Prime Minister and a Foreign Secretary with their focus on their mobile phones, while three refugee children are trying to teach them the letters in Arabic.

Crown Princess Mette Marit, Erna Solberg and Børge Brende are being guided into a universe of cute monsters and treasure chests by the sisters Raghad (6) and Khadija Alhaja (7) together with Mustafa Monzer Falah (8). All three are Syrian refugees.

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) announced a competition for game developers and was helped by scientist Professor Alf Inge Wang, known for the world wide success Kahoot, to guide the work. Monday the games were launched at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, and the goal is that the games eventually be “translated” into other languages.

– We would prefer that all children could go to school and have a teacher, but if not possible, then this is a supplement where the school is dysfunctional and a substitute where it is too dangerous, the Prime Minister said.

– It’s really great to see that it captivates, and that the kids are so passionate about it. It was almost impossible to get to talk with them because they were so keen to bring in prizes and gain points, the Crown Princess said.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today