ICDL Training in Syria
The Sa’ed Program was initiated in September 2008 by Mercy Corps in partnership with The Arab ICT Organization (IJMA3) and the Syrian Computer Society (SCS). Sa’ed, which means “help” in Arabic, is a program designed to address the needs of unemployed youth in Syria, specifically those of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees currently residing in Syria and Syrians from disadvantaged economic backgrounds.
The overall goal of the Sa’ed program was to build the ICT capacity of young adults so that they could seek and attain better employment opportunities and thereby improve the economic livelihoods of themselves and their families. This need was especially critical for unemployed Iraqi youth who had been out of the education system for several years in some cases. As part of the program, Iraqi and Syrian students received training in either basic IT skills or ICDL, an internationally recognized ICT certification.
Interested program participants were asked to attend a number of ongoing recruitment sessions advertised and conducted by Mercy Corps and SCS. At these sessions students would sit for an ICT skill aptitude test administered and evaluated by IJMA3 or SCS program staff. Students scoring higher than 67% would be placed in the eight week ICDL course and students scoring below 67& would be placed in the four week IT basics course. Students were then given their choice of training center and time slot to ensure the best fit for their location and schedule.
ICDL students were required to take a series of exams, testing their acquisition of the material presented in each of the modules. Although only ICDL students received an internationally-recognized certification, all students were awarded a certificate of attendance and course completion recognized and signed by all program partners.
The Sa’ed Program graduated 3,735 students at its completion. It's success was demonstrated in the statemnets of the students themselves who now have hope tha there is a successful future out there for them.