On International Youth Day, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF officially launch the ‘Learning Passport’ digital platform to benefit 100,000 young people in Iraq

The platform builds on the ongoing work developed by the Prospects partnership, funded by the Netherlands, and implemented by UNICEF and ILO, to help refugees and IDPs to build a new life and to be better integrated by supporting host communities

13 August 2022

Mosul, 13 August 2022. – Marking the International Youth Day, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, jointly with UNICEF, officially launched at Mosul University the ‘Learning Passport’, an online education platform, to respond to the learning crisis and bridge the digital divide in Iraq.

Under the theme, "The youth generations are the national treasure in recovery and reconstruction”, the launch event included an opening speech by H.E. Mr. Adnan Darjal, Minister of Youth and Sports, followed by remarks by Mr. Najem Al-Juboori, Ninawah Governor, and Ms. Paula Bulancea, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Iraq. Speeches were accompanied by a youth-led Learning Passport presentation, and an art show organized by youth groups.

“I am speaking to youth, don´t give up, your country needs you! Youth has struggled over last years to get freedom and make their voices heard and for their needs to matter, including their educational needs. So many countries are suffering from such shortage, and here we are trying to push ourselves for youth to have the life they deserve and fulfill the SDGs,” said the Minister of Youth and Sports, Adnan Darjal. “It is our responsibility in the coming years to continue reforms needed for youth to ensure their engagement in social life and to fill the budget gap to cover their needs in education, health and prevention, and for youth to develop their skills, especially those needed in the labor market.”

The Learning Passport is part of UNICEF’s broader efforts to accelerate and improve access to quality education and learning for every child and young people. The platform supports the blended learning and skill-building opportunities for youth and adolescents from most vulnerable groups, including forcibly displaced and host communities.

“We must ensure that learning happens along multiple flexible pathways – with a vision of transitioning to jobs. When young people are provided with the support and resources they need, they will be the innovative problem-solvers able to design, lead and implement projects and services that can help their entire communities.” said Ms. Paula Bulancea, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Iraq, during her speech at Mosul University.

So far, the Learning Passport has reached 4,647 young people (40 per cent young girls) in Iraq from Anbar, Baghdad, Dohuk and Salahaddin with a wide range of learning and skilling resources, including Life Skills and Active Citizenship, the Adolescent Kit for Expression and Innovation, Gender Equality, and many others. After the national launch with the Ministry, the platform is expected to benefit 100,000 young people by 2024 in Iraq.

For International Youth Day, a survey was organized via U-Report Iraq. The poll on Learning Passport showed that 24% of the respondents have heard of Learning Passport and 27% have taken at least one course on the platform. The poll results also showed that the youth are interested in taking digital courses to improve their English, soft and hard skills, and advocacy courses on various topics including education, health, and nutrition.

The Learning Passport is a digital innovation developed by UNICEF in partnership with Microsoft and Cambridge University to enable access to quality and inclusive learning and skills development. The Learning Passport equips young people and children with necessary tools to support their learning whether in schools, homes or in hard-to-reach areas. The Learning Passport was deployed in Iraq in September 2020 and is currently available on web and mobile app for children and young people, soon also offline, to have continuous access to learning materials. It is constantly updated with the latest versions of contextualized content and features engaging and interactive tools developed by UNICEF to make learning fun and engaging. 

Along with the Learning Passport, UNICEF has been working closely with donors, partners, and other UN agencies towards an inclusive future with active adolescent and youth participation and civic engagement. Funded by the Government of the Netherlands, UNICEF and International Labour Organization (ILO) have been collaboratively supporting vulnerable youth in Iraq under the Prospects partnership, to develop skills and transition from training to decent employment and economic opportunities. Through this programme, vulnerable youth, girls, and boys, are taught life, digital and entrepreneurship skills that are in demand in today’s employment market.

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