Education is a social experience. Education is reading comprehension and mathematical reasoning. But it is mainly about being a good citizen, about learning empathy, self-control, solidarity, caring about the common good. This learning takes place at school, where the interaction between teacher and student occurs. And it is at school that millions of children have access to nutrition and a protected space to learn and thrive, particularly girls.
That is why the unprecedented and monumental shock of the pandemic changed the teaching-learning process so much. It is an experience that will live forever in the memory of teachers and students. But that experience has been extremely varied. Suddenly, and faster than expected, many teachers became technology experts, connecting digitally with their students and creating alternative learning routines using digital platforms. If their students had internet access, and a space to work at home, they were able to partially compensate for the lack of in person classes. Other teachers, whose students only had access to a smartphone, had greater difficulties. These students could watch educational programming on television, but with several siblings in a small house and little room to concentrate, they couldn’t learn. And many other students completely disengaged from the educational process.
The Flexible Learning Strategies for Out of School Children programme is a UNESCO initiative with the aim of supporting inclusive and quality education for every child in the region. Our goal is to reach the remaining and most vulnerable 5% of children with no access to education in the region and support quality improvements in learning for every child.
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