Official launch of digital learning at nine pilot primary schools
Ntoum, 11 July 2022: Ntoum Public School I was buzzing on the day of the official launch of the digital primary education project. The ceremony marked a turning point in primary education.
Work is currently underway to gradually introduce digital teaching methods in primary schools. The Ministry of National Education identified nine pilot schools for the first year of implementation.
The ceremony also marked the signing of a partnership agreement between Airtel and UNICEF and the installation of program infrastructure.
An evaluation mission was carried out in three pilot provinces: Estuaire, Moyen-Ogooué and Ogooué Lolo. It visited three schools in each province to evaluate the administrative, organizational, teaching, and technological capacity for integrating digital methods into existing teaching and management practices.
Following a co-creation workshop in January 2022, Gabon now has a map of Gabonese schools and the Airtel network coverage across the country. It also identified HIGH areas, MEDIUM, and LOW regarding new IT and communication technologies. The legislative texts and regulations on digital teaching are ready and awaiting adoption.
The ceremony also launched the training program for around 30 trainers who will support the implementation of the digital methods.
"This project will improve educational resilience in our education system and offer our children the best resources available today. Implementing this form of teaching will undoubtedly help maintain the teaching relationship, which unfortunately broke during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is a practical response to the social impact of the crisis and aims to boost the resilience of the people who were the hardest hit while also guaranteeing the quality of school education," explained Mrs. Camelia Ntoutoume Leclerq, the National Education Minister responsible for civic training.
"This digitalization program seeks to be national, not just a UNICEF project. It brings together all of the stakeholders and the resources required for implementation," announced UNICEF Resident Representative Mr. Noel Marie Zagre in his opening speech as he called on all partners to sign up and contribute.
"We aim to ensure that our young people can fully use digital tools. This program requires learning new skills and knowledge. It also requires updating learning methods in the education system and continuing training. And finally, it requires schools to be connected to very high-speed networks. At Airtel Gabon, our mission today is to act as a bridge. It is for this reason that, as a company, we are focusing on education as a key area for our CSR activities, and we are delighted to partner with UNICEF to speed up this process," added Mr. Sylvose Mve Abessolo, Airtel Gabon's Marketing Director.
First launched on 27 October 2021, the REIMAGINING EDUCATION TOGETHER initiative promotes digitalization in primary schools, backed by UNICEF in cooperation with Airtel Gabon. It will run for five years to fifty-seven (57) million dollars. It supports the government's plans to close the digital divide across the country by introducing new teaching methods in primary schools in line with sustainable development goals. It will also help ensure that digital learning skills are part of essential education services for children and will thus reach all communities in Gabon.
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.