Can't Wait to Learn Expands Research to Help Boost Global Education Outcomes
July 27, 2020
Access to quality education remains a critical issue for millions of children worldwide. UNESCO figures show there are some 59 million children of primary school age with no access to education. The vast majority of these children live in low- and middle-income countries - often directly affected by armed conflict and humanitarian crisis.
Can’t Wait to Learn (CWTL) is designed to help address this education gap - and has been driven by academic research since its inception. The innovative EdTech programme draws on research to deliver high quality, curriculum-aligned learning at an affordable cost - wherever children are denied their fundamental right to learn.
Driving research forward
The research driving the programme is again set to deepen. The Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) - an initiative of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) - has selected Can’t Wait to Learn to be the centre of new research to help strengthen education systems and improve learning outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.
KIX serves to fuel innovation in the education sector to help address key education priorities. Can’t Wait to Learn has received major funding from KIX to contribute to this mission. Research efforts will focus on further developing programme design to increase the quality and equitable access for children living with the effects of armed conflict.
Children in Chad receiving tablet education with the programme Can't Wait to Learn
Photo: War Child
Education in crisis
Education is in crisis across sub-Saharan Africa - UNICEF figures show that 85 per cent of children in the region do not reach minimum levels of learning despite being in school. The collaboration between KIX and Can’t Wait to Learn will help address this challenge.
The research will be undertaken in Chad, Uganda and Sudan. Research efforts will focus on further developing programme design to increase the quality and equitable access for children living with the effects of armed conflict.
Improved efficacy and implementation
Yassin Abdalla, CWTL project manager for UNICEF Sudan, believes the new research will added further proof of the programme’s efficacy. “In the Sudan programme, our collaboration is between Can’t Wait to Learn, UNICEF, implementing partners as government counterparts and a national university as a research partner,” he explains. “This collaboration will add value to the research reliability; and human capacity enhancement of the national researchers, who are participating in the research design and implementation.”
In Chad the programme is implemented in partnership with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Firmin Yelkohom, CWTL Project Manager for JRS Chad, believes the new initiative could have a significant impact with regard to implementation. "Through our partnership, this research will enhance ideas, increase creativity, and set a contextualized research agenda," he says.
"The findings will inspire JRS to improve its education programme implementation in Chad in general and especially the Can’t Wait to Learn programme.”
All set for scale up
Research efforts will be geared towards ultimately bringing about a significant expansion of the programme - as Kiriia Grace Okia (Programme development advisor for War Child Uganda) explains. “The [research] findings will especially be useful to the Ministry of Education and our education partners in the adaptation of Can’t Wait to Learn in the Ugandan context," she says. “It will also inform decisions on scale-up and institutionalization of Can’t Wait to Learn in Uganda”.
Professor Mark Jordans, War Child Holland director of Research and Development, has welcomed the announcement. “War Child is proud that Can’t Wait to Learn has been selected as a recipient of one of the KIX global grants to support in improving global education outcomes," he says.
“The partnership will enable us to contribute in generating and sharing knowledge on strengthening education systems in developing countries. We’re excited that our research will enable us to further adapt our programme and help it to be scaled and implemented to improve learning in multiple regions around the world.”