UNICEF and the Netherlands partner to “Reimagine Education” in Kosovo through support to innovation and technology

27 October 2021
Visit to Netherlands embassy
@UNICEF/2021/N.Maxhuni

Pristina, 27th October 2021 UNICEF and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo are pleased to announce a new education partnership which aims to harness the power of innovation and technology to support quality online education for children whose education has been fully or partly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Improving access to digital tools and connectivity will enable teachers and schools to harness the potential of blended learning to make education more inclusive, to improve learning outcomes, and to help children and young people develop critical digital and other 21st century skills.

The initiative will be implemented in close partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, mayors and municipal education authorities in three selected municipalities, and other local partners. The initiative will support schools, teachers and students in the use of the shkollat.org online learning platform that UNCEF together with MESTI has made available for all schools Kosovo-wide since early 2021.

The lives of children throughout the world have been fundamentally disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as school systems shut down during lockdown or moved overnight to online platforms to ensure continuity of learning, including in Kosovo. Despite the efforts of Kosovo institutions and partners, many of the most vulnerable children were not able to access schooling during the pandemic due to lack of access to devices, internet or other factors.

This partnership will provide internet connectivity to three primary and three upper secondary schools and will equip teachers with devices to improve access to and utilization of digital platforms for teaching and learning. Capacities of teachers and students to use shkollat.org will be also strengthened, and upper secondary school students in selected schools will be provided with the opportunity to participate in 21st century skills development workshops through the implementation of the UPSHIFT programme, which uses innovative and experiential learning techniques to develop the capacities of adolescents and young people to understand community challenges and design impactful solutions.

“We are delighted to partner with the Netherlands to further this important area of work on inclusive education. The pandemic has shown that access to digital tools, skills and connectivity should be the right of every child – and beyond the pandemic these skills can be their pathway from education to active participation in economic and social life,” said  Nona Zicherman, Head of UNICEF in Kosovo. During the pandemic UNICEF supported MESTI and schools to ensure safe and continuous learning for children with the roll-out of the e-learning platform, capacity building, development of e-curricula, provision of hygiene materials, awareness-raising and more.

“We are a proud partner of UNICEF and the ministry of Education in this project. This pandemic should not lead to a lost generation and we should leave no one behind. We share the ambition of UNICEF and the ministry of Education to provide educational opportunities in these challenging circumstances to as many young Kosovars as possible. Let’s use this opportunity to equip teachers, pupils and students from all communities, with the digital -21 century- skills that are necessary to build a great future for Kosovo. We are convinced that UNICEF, the ministry of Education, teachers and above all, the pupils and students will make this project a great success”, added Ambassador Carin Lobbezoo of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo.     

For more information, please contact Dafina Zuna, Communication and Partnerships Officer; dzuna@unicef.org or on her mobile phone+ 383 44 185 123. 

#About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Find out more about UNICEF’s work on the COVID-19 vaccines here, or about UNICEF’s work on immunization here.

Media contacts

Dafina Zuna
Head of Communications
UNICEF Kosovo Programme

About UNICEF

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 www.unicef.org.

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