Children's learning must never stop!

Online and televised learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mohamed Junaid Abdulla Saleem
A female teacher conducting a mathematics lesson on a televised learning program
Ministry of Education, Maldives
08 September 2020

As COVID19 forced lockdowns across Maldives, the continuation of children’s education has been a top priority for UNICEF Maldives.

The work focused on facilitating distance learning through online and broadcast mediums.

UNICEF helped set-up a new recording studio at the National Institute of Education. On request of UNICEF Maldives CO, UNICEF ROSA reviewed the televised lessons and provided feedback to improve them, which has made the subsequent televised lessons more effective.

UNICEF also supported the training of teachers on Google’s G Suite. Aminath Rizna, a leading teacher at the Atholhu Madharusa in Vaikaradhoo Island, Haa Dhaalu atoll said that the training helped her understand the tools she could use for effective online classes.

It [online classes] is different. The physical environment of a classroom, the personal interactions are always missing, but we know that this is the future with new technology changing the way we do things, she said.

Rizna, who delivers five online classes every week, noted that it was a challenge to reach out to children who needed more attention. “With the training, I learnt interactive ways to deliver classes and reach all the students”.

So far, a total of 210 teachers (132 females and 78 males)  have been certified in G-suite. The target is to certify an additional 1800 teachers across the country by October 2020.

Aika Aslam Mohamed, a grade seven student studying through online classes in Malé’s Kalaafaanu School enjoyed her online classes.

There is no need to wear a school uniform or go to school. It saves time. I can also playback the recordings to clarify doubts later, she said. Internet connectivity issues and technical difficulties affect classes and there is no social interaction, Aika noted as challenges with online learning.

G-Suite trainings and the equipping of the NIE studio enabled the televised and online classes to be kickstarted at the start of the pandemic for all the secondary and higher secondary grades aiming to reach a total of 86,000 learners across the country.