The online part of the program, the Learning Passport, was designed with Microsoft and provides children remote access to their national school curriculum with child-friendly textbooks, storybooks, songs and videos. It also includes interactive quizzes to keep children engaged and test their progress.
“It was initially designed for a refugee context, where children could carry it with them as evidence of their education progress,” explains Alice.
“The Learning Passport is great for children because it is really interactive and it tracks children’s progress, creating a record of how they are progressing through their learning, even if they’re not in classrooms.”
“When schools reopen, they will need to assess how much learning children have missed and this will be a really useful tool for that.”
UNICEF also launched an app version of the platform to allow students to download books and resources in advance while they are in internet range, so they can continue to study once at home, even if their community does not have regular access to the internet.
“It’s incredible how quickly UNICEF field
teams in so many countries have mobilised
and come up with really innovative solutions.”
Soon the platform will offer skills training for adolescents and UNICEF has also partnered with a local telecom company with the aim to give 600,000 mobile phone users free access to the learning materials, without having to use their mobile data, which can be unaffordable. Parents and carers can also sign up for SMS text messages with advice and tips on how to support their children’s learning at home.
“It’s incredible how quickly UNICEF field teams in so many countries have mobilised and come up with really innovative solutions,” says Alice. “They have instantly changed everything that they’re doing in order to keep children engaged and keep them learning.”
“In Timor-Leste, they developed the television series within weeks. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) they reached 380,000 children within a few weeks of schools closing with radio broadcasts of lessons. And, in the Pacifc they’re getting storybooks and messages out to children, and managed to rapidly adapt these for the Pacific context - which is so important.”
“They have instantly changed everything
that they’re doing in order to keep children
engaged and keep them learning.”