Since its outbreak two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education systems globally, affecting the most vulnerable learners the hardest. It has increased inequalities and exacerbated a pre-existing education crisis. School closures have ranged from no closures in a handful of countries to up to more than a full school year. Lack of connectivity and devices excluded at least one third of students from pursuing learning remotely.
The establishment of crisis-resistant school systems in low-resource countries that ensure continuity and quality of learning is particularly important.
UNESCO is assisting the Ministries of Education and other partners of Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana in the implementation of a three-year (2020-2023) project to design, pilot test, and scale up Technology-enabled Open School Systems. This project, developed within the framework of the UNESCO‐Huawei Funds‐in‐Trust, aims to build technology-enabled crisis-resilient school systems that will make the comprehensive school education programme (learning of knowledge, teacher-student interaction, and social caring) accessible from schools, at home, and in other places, to ensure the continuity and quality of learning no matter under normal or crises situations.
The project aims to steer countries to achieve the following vision: Schools in low-resource countries can be transformed into technology-enabled open schools and provide inclusive, equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It will empower and help countries to rethink and build the new generation of digital schools and digital learners. School systems could thus ensure the continuity and quality of learning for all learners in the face of future global pandemics and crises situations.
Primary, Junior High School, Out-of-school children and vulnerable groups, School teachers and school heads, Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service staff who are in charge of school connectivity, CENDLOS.
Educators and learners have access to e-learning resources online and offline and are using them effectively. The use of technology and internet in school and at home is increased to ensure continuity of learning always including crisis periods. Basic school teachers develop e-contents and assessment modules using improved pedagogical Models Students will increasingly apply digital skills to improve their learning. Government institutions are resourced to deliver sustainable support after the implementation of the project.
Secondary schools of Grade 9-10, more specifically 24 schools of which at least 12,000 students and 240 teachers will be immediate beneficiaries of this project, Platforms and digital contents could be used at a wider scale.
Pilot Schools and Students are connected to the internet and to distance learning resources and platforms. Teachers are empowered to use technology, create digital learning content and apply new pedagogical approaches. Students’ digital skills are improved. Guidelines and user manuals are developed based on reviewed policies and strategies to sustain and scale up the technology-enabled open school model.
950,000 K-12 educators through the establishment of a National Distance Learning Centre.
School teachers and other relevant K-12 educators are empowered to use technology and digital content both in their professional development and for teaching to support school-based blended learning or home-based learning. A national Distance Learning Centre for educators is established and the institutional capacity is enhanced. The continuous professional development of school teachers and other relevant K-12 educators is enhanced through a national online training platform and trainings to ensure the continuity and quality of their professional development.