The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Japan and UNICEF announced last week a new partnership worth USD621,000 for 1 year aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children’s learning.
A key focus of this support, which includes development and distribution of digital and offline learning materials and teacher training on digital skills, is to provide ‘recovery learning’ for pre-primary and primary school children affected by the pandemic. This includes provision of learning content made available nationally via the Ministry of Education and Sports’ digital teaching and learning platform, Khang Panya Lao with UNICEF’s support.
The intervention will focus on addressing the urgent need to support the most marginalized children in Laos to access remedial and accelerated learning opportunities and materials to prevent drop-out and narrow the learning gap. Learning materials include braille textbooks to support learning among children with visual impairments.
Over the past three years, MoES has responded swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic with much effort made to shield children from its impacts. Despite this, children across the country have missed out on learning for extended periods during school closures, putting many children at higher risk of learning loss and drop-out from school. Significant loss of learning nationwide due to COVID-19 comes at a major cost not only to the individual child but also to the future productivity of the nation.
“Teachers are essential to recovering learning loss caused by COVID-19 and in transforming the education system to meet the needs of Lao children in the 21st century,” explained Dr. Pia Britto, UNICEF Representative.
“We’re facing the most challenging time ever in education. The remedial learning programme and upskilling teacher capacity through digital options supported by the Government of Japan will play such an invaluable role in this important timing,” said Minister of Education and Sports Phouth Simmalavong.
The partnership also recognizes the importance of introducing innovative digital tools and technologies in classrooms and as part of teaching and learning, a key lesson learnt from the pandemic.
“Many children lost chances to learn at school due to closures. Solid partnerships are necessary if we are to stand together to address the adverse impacts on children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Mr. Kobayashi, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan.
The right interventions at the right time can bolster development. By working together under this new partnership between MoES, Japan and UNICEF, much can be achieved to help children in Lao PDR catch up on lost learning and to build greater
Source: Lao News Agency