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Global Partnership for Education

$4.779m to help children mitigate Covid-19 learning loss

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 24 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
$4.779m to help children mitigate Covid-19 learning loss
With the help of his mother, preschooler Siyam, 6, is doing lessons over a mobile phone as part of a digital learning programme supported by UNICEF. — photo UNICEF

The Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) under the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) of Bangladesh has kicked off the digital content development and dissemination initiative of the Covid-19 School Sector Response Plan (CSSR) project.

The project will be conducted with technical assistance from UNICEF and World Bank through Global Partnership for Education (GPE) funding support worth US$ 4.779 million, said the UNICEF on Tuesday.

UNICEF will work in close collaboration with the DPE and the Directorate of Secondary and High Education (DSHE) to develop integrated remote learning content and disseminate them to mitigate the learning loss.

“We are thrilled to be working with GPE and the World Bank to increase the availability of more interactive digital content for television, national and community radio, internet, mobile phones and printed materials, specially focusing on the children of disadvantaged groups,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.

Stating CSSR project as the largest Covid-19 response in the education sector of the country, he further added that with this project, UNICEF will not only address the learning loss, expand digital content repository, strengthen the system resilience, but will also continue to support the government through other initiatives to strengthen the digital learning ecosystem, the curriculum, learning innovation, child safety, skilling teachers, and more.

The alignment of the digital learning contents with the national curriculum will be ensured so that learning objectives can be met.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, schools across Bangladesh were closed for over 543 consecutive days and re-opened on September 12, 2021. This closure affected more than 35 million students (more than half are girls) from pre-primary to secondary (including non-formal) students who faced an unprecedented challenge of learning during this time.

The year-long project set to start from next month will support activities that mitigate learning loss and recover from Covid-19, enable teaching-learning to continue, and ensure the education sector is more resilient to future shocks in alignment with the development planning of the Government of Bangladesh.

  UNICEF will support the government with the development of these digital learning contents and will also be developing and producing 150,000 printed learning packages for students in remote areas in consultation with DPE.

The Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) Covid-19 accelerated funding window is providing funding allocations to address the pandemic’s impact on education systems in 66 countries, with Bangladesh receiving US$15 million under the CSSR project through the World Bank as GPE’s grant agent.