UNICEF has scaled up support in 145 countries, including Cambodia, to help children continue their studies after school closures around the world due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) gave funds to support the creation of a Khmer e-learning platform for students from grades 7-12 to study online for free.
School closures have disrupted the studies of 80 per cent of students around the world. Unicef declared further support for all countries to help children continue their learning and make schooling safe, it said in a recent announcement from New York City, US.
“Most countries closed the doors. This situation has never been seen before and if we do not act now to educate children, society and economies would face disaster in the long run after Covid-19 has been overcome.
“In the most vulnerable communities, the impact will continue to the next generation,” said Robert Jenkins, its chief, education and associate director, Programme Division, at Unicef Headquarters.
He said that based on the lessons learnt from school closures in response to Ebola, the longer students stay away from school, the less likely they would return.
Giving children more alternatives to learn, and building a routine, he said, is important.
To deal with the disruption to children’s education and help them continue learning safely, Unicef has allocated additional funding of $13 million for about 145 countries.
Nearly $9 million of this will come from a contribution made by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which would be used to support governments at the national level and education partners in each country to develop plans to enable a rapid, system-wide response.
In Cambodia, Unicef said it is supporting the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)
to provide alternative learning opportunities to students including e-learning classes in key subjects.
“This programme can benefit 250,000 students in grades 9 and 12 in the Kingdom who would take their national examinations this year. Online classes would support a lot of students to learn during the school closures due to Covid-19,” it said.
MoEYS said on its Facebook page on Saturday that Koica will fund the creation of a Khmer e-learning platform named Khmer Academy which will enable students from grades 7-12 to search for lessons online for free.
Its spokesman Ros Soveacha said the support plan only introduced education staff and students in all grades to follow the announcement of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) on measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.
According to the Unicef announcement, It is cooperating with MoEYS with support from the Japanese government to increase practising programmes which give learning alternatives to students in primary and secondary schools.
“With such support, funded by the government of Japan, a range of e-learning lessons and programmes will be developed and provided through MoEYS website and Facebook page added Unicef.
Koica could not be reached for comment.