UNICEF and Microsoft have partnered to launch the new Learning Passport, to help children continue their education despite school closures caused by Covid-19 isolation measures.
Initially designed by UNICEF, Microsoft and the University of Cambridge to provide digital education for displaced and refugee children, the Learning Passport has been expanded to “facilitate country-level [curricula] for children and youth,” according to a Microsoft news story. It will also provide educators with key resources.
“From school closures, to isolation, to a persistent sense of fear and anxiety, the effects of this pandemic are impacting childhoods worldwide,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director. “We need to come together and explore every avenue to keep children learning and help them through this difficult time. With long-term partners like Microsoft, we are able to swiftly deploy innovative, scalable solutions for children and youth. The adaptations made to the Learning Passport are a powerful reminder of what we can achieve together for children as the crisis deepens globally.”
The solution has been in development for 18 months and can now be used by all countries with a curriculum that can be taught online, to provide education to students from their homes.
Kosovo, Timor-Leste and Ukraine are the first to implement the solution, making online books and videos available to schoolchildren, as well as additional support for parents of children with learning disabilities.
“Just as Covid-19’s impact has no borders, its solutions must not have borders, as it requires the collaboration across public and private sectors to ensure every student stays engaged and continues learning,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “UNICEF’s Learning Passport is uniquely positioned as a scalable learning solution to bridge the digital learning gap for millions of students to bring their classroom into their home during the pandemic.”
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