UNICEF Statement: Remote learning in the time of COVID-19
BISHKEK, March 21, 2020 – UNICEF welcomes the initiative of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to introduce remote learning activities for children in Kyrgyzstan. This will minimize the impact of the temporary closure of education institutions and ensure ongoing learning for all children.
UNICEF is ready to work with the Government to have a solid plan in place to ensure continuity of learning, including remote learning options such as online education strategies and radio/TV broadcasts of academic content, and access to essential learning services for all children.
UNICEF also encourages the use of the global Guidance, “Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools”, issued on 10 March by IFRC, UNICEF and WHO to protect children and support safe school operations.
In the event of school closures, the guidance includes recommendations to mitigate against the possible negative impacts on children’s learning and wellbeing. This means having solid plans in place to ensure the continuity of learning, including remote learning options such as online education strategies and radio broadcasts of academic content, and access to essential services for all children. These plans should also include necessary steps for the eventual safe reopening of schools. The guidance provides advice to national and local authorities on how to adapt and implement emergency plans for education.
- It further recommends encouraging children to ask questions and express their concerns; and practical guidance on how to participate in disease prevention and control.
When schools resume, they require many considerations, but if done well, can promote public health and UNICEF advocates for:
- Providing children with information about how to protect themselves;
- Promoting handwashing and hygiene practices and providing hygiene supplies;
- Cleaning and disinfecting school buildings, especially water and sanitation facilities; and
- Increasing airflow and ventilation.
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.