Keeping Education Open in the Midst of Crisis
Jan. 24, 2021
Our innovative digital education programme Can’t Wait to Learn has created a downloadable teacher and learning package - which currently enables some 10,000 children to continue their education through distance learning.
“Education is the fundamental right of every child," says War Child director Tjipke Bergsma. “It provides children with inspiration, hope and the chance of a better future. Evidence has also shown that it has a positive impact on children’s psychosocial wellbeing.”
“With schools closed, learning must continue.”
Can’t Wait to Learn usually offers children the opportunity to learn through playing educational games in groups on tablet devices, supported by teachers and learning facilitators. In Lebanon, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational content was adapted to home-based learning and made accessible via a website link, USB stick or SD card. Exercise books were provided to complement digital content and teachers were trained to support home-based learning. Hygiene, safety and mental health support materials were also made available.
Bringing learning home
In Uganda additional digital tablets were provided or shared amongst students so they too could learn from home. In addition, teachers were prepared to coach remote learning and maintenance systems were set up to ensure the safe operation of the programme.
In Colombia, War Child’s Peace Education programme moved onto the radio. And in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), children received printed home learning packs - allowing them to learn even without access to electricity or internet.
Responding to urgent needs
Responding to COVID-19 has highlighted that we need to understand specific educational needs and circumstances and be able to quickly adapt delivery modalities in response. Learning solutions must be flexible, durable and scalable. And funding needs to be made available for the use of technology (where most effective and equitable) to provide quality education in emergency situations.
Governments, donors and partners must support schools and teachers to develop emergency distance-learning materials and activities that are accessible to all children - particularly the most marginalised. Physical, mental health and psychosocial support must be fully integrated into humanitarian educational responses. Teachers and parents must also be supported.
In short - no child should be left behind.