A new partnership initiative to support children with distance learning

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Children will benefit from more educational resources to support them with distance and home-based learning during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the partnership between the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports of Georgia, UNICEF, the Georgian Coalition for Education for All (EFA), the Education Management Information System (EMIS) and UKAid.

A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed today by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports of Georgia, UNICEF, the Georgian Coalition for Education for All (EFA), and the Education Management Information System (EMIS) to cooperate within the framework of education rapid response to COVID-19.

“In a period of pandemic, the main task for the ministry is to provide diverse distance learning services to students at home. For this purpose many open source resources were developed by international or local organizations working in education field. Under this signed memorandum we will also cover preschool education component – preschool field experts will provide interesting recommendations and various activities in a TV format for preschool children and their parents”. – Eka Dgebuadze, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.“The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the daily realities of children, parents, and teachers. Social distancing, self-quarantine, and the closure of preschools and schools has put a lot of stress on society. By signing this memorandum, together with our partners, UNICEF commits to develop and make available online resources and guidelines for teaching and learning that are very much needed during this emergency,” said Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.

The project will cover both preschool and general education. In the context of preschool education, multimedia content will be developed for parents to support the cognitive, emotional, and motor skills development of young children within the home environment. Video tutorials, with the participation of preschool experts and educators, will offer specific recommendations and provide specific strategies and activities that parents can use to support their children’s development. The videos will be part of a series of TV programmes that air on the National Public Broadcaster’s Education channel twice a week. School readiness resources will also be designed to inform parents about the importance of school readiness in a child’s overall development and learning. The materials will accentuate positive parenting approaches and the holistic development of young children. The resources will be made available on the Ministry’s designated website (www.el.ge).

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In the context of general education, several types of teaching and learning resources will be produced and made available on the website (www.el.ge), including teacher and school guides for online teaching and learning, parental guides, and homework and feedback packages for students. For students in grades 1 through 12, sets of regular homework assignments will be developed and aimed at engaging students in regularly structured learning. Starting from the first week of May, the homework in each subject for each grade will be posted online, followed by the feedback on that homework in a week’s time, and then a new set of homework assignments.

The project also includes adapting teaching and learning resources on the www.ck-12.org educational platform.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, all educational institutions in the country are closed, including schools and preschools, leaving 165,000 preschool age children and 592,000 school age children at home. Children are facing significant adjustments to their routines and the ways they access education and learning materials. According to the Education Management Information System (EMIS), 20 per cent of children in Georgia do not have access to computers and the Internet, significantly limiting their right to education. The gap in learning is going to have dramatic implications for the development of children and adolescents

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