UNICEF launches a ‘Learning Passport’ to strengthen the foundations of learning for preschoolers across Europe and Central Asia
The region is home to 14,6 million children of preschool age, 7,1 millions of whom are not attending preschool. The ‘Learning Passport’ can help accelerate national reforms to make quality early learning opportunities available to more children everywhere
GENEVA, 23 November 2021 – Today, UNICEF unveiled its latest digital initiative in Europe and Central Asia: the ‘Learning Passport’ - an online education platform that will equip parents and teachers across the region with the tools to support children’s early learning at home and in school, in and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Born out of a partnership between UNICEF and Microsoft, the Learning Passport is a readily available digital platform that can be quickly deployed, customized and scaled-up nationally, including in low connectivity areas. Targeted for preschool educators and parents across Europe and Central Asia, the platform features professional development courses, teaching and learning materials, and communities of practice, to support educators and parents in providing children with quality, inclusive, play-based education.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted the education of millions of children throughout Europe and Central Asia. Providing teachers and parents with timely and high-quality training and tools will be critical to bridging the learning gap”, said Ms. Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. “The Learning Passport is part of our broader efforts to accelerate early childhood education reforms and improve access to quality preschool education for every child.”
Over the coming months, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will be launching their national versions of the Learning Passport. In each country, UNICEF worked closely with government partners and education experts to adapt the platform to national priorities, as well as to the specific needs of teachers and parents of children aged 3-6. A total of nearly 200,000 teachers and parents and over 5 million preschool children across the five countries could benefit from this initiative.
Although initially targeted for pre-school teachers, UNICEF is planning to gradually expand the use of the Learning Passport platform to formal education, as well as to the training of practitioners across the full education sector.
The Learning Passport is released just days after the launch of “Bebbo”, UNICEF’s first mobile parenting app, and is part of UNICEF’s broader digital innovation efforts to support early learning and child development across Europe and Central Asia.
Note to editors:
On 10 November 2021, the Learning Passport was listed among the Time Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions for 2021.
More information on the Learning Passport is available here.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/eca/.