Online classes available for refugees, immigrants

Gayathri | Wednesday, December 21, 2016 12:08 PM IST

Online classes available for refugees, immigrants

A new initiative is in place to help refugees and immigrants through technology.

The Refugee Center Online (RCO) will soon offer free online GED and citizenship preparation courses for refugees and immigrants in Salem and Portland, as well as rural areas across the state.

“We are excited and proud to (launch) our new online classroom ... (and) help so many of our new neighbors advance their educations and become citizens,” said Jessica Marks, founder and co-president of the Portland-based Refugee Center Online.

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The online classroom was created for low-literacy and second language learners, according to a Refugee Center Online press release. As an online resource, the classroom allows newcomers to learn anywhere, at any time.

“For most refugees, the most important thing is getting an education, an opportunity many of us lost because of war, because of trying to survive,” said Mohamud Noor, Refugee Center Online board member.

A recently acquired grant will be used to enroll at least 10,000 foreign-born Oregonians in the GED and citizenship programs over the next two years, according to the release.

“Nonprofit and community organizations in Oregon already offer tremendous in-person support to refugees and immigrants” said Marks. “By adding our new online classroom and mobile resources, we will, together, be able to reach an even larger number of newcomers.”