Framing the Issue
One of the many initiatives designed under the H&M Foundation and Kiron’s targeted project, “Building a Learning Environment for Study Success (BLESS)”, is a focus on broadening German and English language offers. One of the biggest challenges refugees encounter is not being able to speak their host country’s language which in turn affects other aspects of integration such as entering the job market or higher education accessibility. Through BLESS, students can enroll in tailor-made language courses and practice their language skills with other learners in an active online community.
Originally from Turkey, Enes had to leave a few month’s shy of attaining his master’s degree. Since his arrival in Germany in early 2019, he has been focused on improving his German language proficiency. He advocates for the importance of learning the language in order to get a better understanding of German culture and norms. “In some cases it takes years to get used to it…and so in those years, people cannot find the opportunity to do things in their field or to improve themselves. So I find the Kiron language learning MOOC very, very useful.”
He discovered Kiron through a friend and upon registering, was motivated to try the new possibilities and range of learning materials available online. As a refugee, the most important concern for Enes is the lack of access to educational opportunities which he cannot benefit from without a platform such as Kiron. With an interest in information technologies, he started some IT courses, specifically on coding languages. Enes is excited to share his personal achievement on how the course design has assisted in improving his German at a greater pace. “Because of the intensity and the quality of the course, I had the opportunity to jump over from B1 to C1. With Kiron, in the past one and a half years…I can do much much more.”
Enes uses the classic example of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to show why he thinks education is so important. He reflects on how we are now in a world of multiple sources of knowledge and information. He believes in the transformative capacity of education in teaching people to build awareness and in making more informed choices in this digital age. “Education is like freeing yourself from some kind of chains by broadening your perspective.”
Enes’ future is full of hopes and aspirations. Apart from language learning, his interest lies in data science and he plans to continue to study more courses hosted on the campus for fulfilment of his personal and professional goals.