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The information provided below was submitted as at 2020-05-16 22:20:56 by UNICEF-ESARO (Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office) in responding to the AU Survey of Partners Education Sector Response to COVID-19. The information is solely for experience sharing purposes and not to be used for other purposes without express permission of the African Union Commission.

 

Name of Organisation: UNICEF-ESARO (Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office)
 
Website: www.unicef.org
 
Key objectives of the initiative/program?
1- Respond, with the aim to ensure learning continuity, despite school closures due to COVID 19. This includes:
a. Technical assistance to countries on planning and delivering learning continuity
b. Building partnership and fundraising for regional online platform (Learning Passport, Regional Distance Learning Hub, etc.) and support to national platforms for learning delivery (Radio, TV, YouTube, Internet, etc.)
c. Encouraging resources sharing (cross border sharing of continuity of learning content)
d. Making available ready-to-deploy continuous learning resources, resources to monitor distance learning and school re-opening packages – with focus on the most marginalized learners
e. Etc.

2- Building back better, with the aim to support countries to improve plans and preparedness for reopening up better schools, better serve out of school children, support parents/caregivers be more involved in supporting children’s learning. This includes:
a. Development and sharing schools reopening guidelines (How to reopen schools? When, where and which schools to reopen? Etc.)
b. Building up Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools, good practices to date and forthcoming evidence.
c. Development of Catch-up and accelerated options, improving pedagogy and implementing hybrid approaches to learning, with focus on the most vulnerable: Promoting girls education, integrating children with disabilities and populations of concern (children on move, minorities, etc.)
d. Supporting and Promoting well-being and protection services: MHPSS, combatting violence against children, WASH, Health & Nutrition
a. Supporting the development of policies and financing to look at both the impact of COVID-19 on education as well as opportunities to strengthen systems

3- Develop and strengthen partnerships, the aim being to form a strong alliance to ensure that every child learn, and no one is left behind, despite the crisis.

 
Elements of the Initiative/Program
COVID-19 response planning, Provision of Open Online Course , Direct support to Ministries of Education, Direct support to grassroot organizations, Support to Innovators, Back to school campaigns;
 
Sectors of Education targeted by the Initiative/Program
Pre-School, Primary, Secondary;
 
Other Organisations/Institiutions involved in implementing the program/initiative
UNESCO
Global coalition on education for COVID response

WHO/IFRC
Safe School Operations Guidance

WFP
School meals both during closure and reopen (16M)

UNESCO/WFP/WB/WHO?
Guidance on re-opening Schools

UNHCR - Blueprint
Joint statement and Joint Action Plan

MNOs
zero ratings for online and SMS modalities

AUC, UNESCO, EDC, Microsoft (learning platforms, learning passport, etc.)

GPE, ECW, Thematic (Fundraising)

 
Regions in Africa benefiting from Program/Initiative
Eastern Africa, Southern Africa
 
Countries in Africa benefiting from Program/Initiative
Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
 
Challenges with the COVID-19 response
Challenges and Areas to focus include:
- Monitoring distance learning
- Activating teachers under lockdown
- Adequate focus on ECE
- Reaching the most vulnerable including CwD
- Lack of comprehensive distance learning model
- Lack of funding
-Issues around school re-opening

 
Lessons learned from the COVID-19 response
As lessons learned,
1/- Countries need ready-to-deploy distance learning materials, suggesting the importance of ICTs and other platforms (radio, TV, etc) use in education which is often left behind the priorities.
2/- There is a need to improve education systems for all learners: This includes:
a/- Improve preparedness for any crisis that leads to school closure
b/- Better support the learning of out of school children
c/- Better support caregivers to be involved in their children’s learning.
d/- Better financing and utilization of resources available

 
Good practices with the COVID-19 response
Kenya: Multiple approach
MoE has enhanced curriculum delivery through 4 different platforms (Radio, TV, Youtube and the Kenya Education cloud) including lifesaving messages for the vulnerable including refugees.

South Africa: Application and parental guide Digitalizing curriculum on the 2Enable App and online platform (national platform). Each video will be accompanied by a one-page guide for parents. Once done, will be uploaded onto the 2Enable app and online portal.

Tanzania: Testing low-tech platforms
Testing an online (parental education) and interactive low-tech system such as IOGT and SMS. Also, use of printed materials as an interim solution until radio programme is developed.


 
Innovations implemented during the COVID-19 response
Rwanda: Inclusive distance learning
For children with disabilities, UNICEF supported the Country on sign language interpretation of any video content developed and aired on television. Materials will also be developed and hosted on an e-learning platform hosted by Rwanda Education Board.

 

If you are interested in contacting the Organisation for further information, please contect This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that any secondary use of this data is not allowed without seeking express permission of the African Union Commission.