Skopje, 18-20 July 2019: Over the next three days gamers, graphic designers and artists will work with ten mentors from the Bureau for Development of Education, academics, educators from pre-primary and primary education to co-create games for play-based learning.
A selection of the best online and digital games developed at this #Inno4Edu hackathon will be included in a national education web platform – an online library for educational games and resources for parents and teachers to enrich learning opportunities for children from preschool to the first cycle of primary education (Grade 1-3).
“Learning through play is one of the most important ways in which young children gain essential knowledge and skills. They play to make sense of the world around them. When choosing to play with the things they like, children develop skills in all areas of development: intellectual, social, emotional and physical. Equally important, they develop the skills essential for learning such as problem solving, analysing, evaluating, applying knowledge and creativity,” said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative.
Global research shows play-based learning enhances children’s academic and developmental learning outcomes. It also shows the long-term benefits of play-based early childhood development programmes where children are exposed to learning and problem solving through self-initiated activities and teacher guidance. Although the traditional approach to primary school programmes is focused on instructing children in basic academic skills, research shows that play-based learning is effective in primary school programmes as well.
The practical tools that will be made available on the web platform are designed to support play-based learning in all settings: at home, at pre-school and at school.
The Inno4Edu Hackathon is being organized in partnership with SmartUp – Social Innovation Lab and is supported by the UK Government through the British Embassy in Skopje in partnership with UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Bureau for Development of Education as part of the programme “Creating enabling environment for improvement of quality education and learning through co-creation and innovations”.
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.mk.