UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition supports countries in making sure learning never stops during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of the Coalition, VVOB will work to “unlock teachers’ and school leaders’ potential in facing the current crisis as well as the scars it will leave on education systems once the crisis is over”, said VVOB Programme Director Tom Vandenbosch.
Partnership is the only way forward
Today, 28 April 2020, 1,292,378,969 learners across 186 countries are affected by country-wide school closures – 73.8% of all enrolled learners.
“Never before have we witnessed educational disruption on such a scale,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay at the launch of the Global Education Coalition. “Partnership is the only way forward. This Coalition is a call for coordinated and innovative action to unlock solutions that will not only support learners and teachers now, but through the recovery process, with a principle focus on inclusion and equity.” Find the full press release on the launch here.
Multilateral organisations, the private sector, philanthropic organisation and non-profits are rallying behind the Coalition’s resolute mission: making sure learning never stops, by supporting countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.
“Crises tend to hit those who were already struggling the very hardest, and we’ve seen that this pandemic is no different”, said Tom Vandenbosch, programme director of VVOB. “We cannot allow this: not while we are in the middle of this crisis, and not while we are dealing with its aftermath.”
“That is why we fully support the Global Education Coalition’s mission to make sure children’s learning continues, no matter their circumstances. As for our specific contribution, VVOB will double down on what we do best: work hand in hand with ministries of education to unlock teachers’ and school leaders’ potential through quality professional development and training. We will empower them to face the current crisis as well as the scars it will leave on education systems once it is over.”
The Global Education Coalition has a good sense of countries’ specific needs, and will endeavour to match them with free and secure solutions, bringing partners together to address connectivity and content challenges among others. It will provide digital tools and learning management solutions to upload national digitised educational resources, and curate resources for distance learning and strengthen technical expertise using a mix of technology and community approaches, depending on local contexts. In all interventions, special attention will be placed on ensuring data security and protecting the privacy of learners and teachers.
Specifically, the Coalition aims to:
- Help countries in mobilising resources and implementing innovative and context-appropriate solutions to provide education remotely, leveraging hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech approaches
- Seek equitable solutions and universal access
- Ensure coordinated responses and avoid overlapping efforts
- Facilitate the return of students to school when they reopen to avoid an upsurge in dropout rates
We are very happy to be part of this Coalition and reiterate General Director Azoulay’s message that the only way we can get through this, is together. We’re proud to see many of VVOB’s longstanding partners are also part of the Coalition, including UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation, Education International, Dubai Cares, Global Partnership for Education, Global Campaign for Education, Save the Children and Plan International.
Partnerships are always crucial to us, and more so today than ever before.