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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: UNICEF and Airtel Africa Support Distance Learning in Sub-Saharan South Africa

キベラの自宅で勉強するシェイラさん。週に一度、先生から両親の携帯電話に課題が届き、印刷して取り組んだ後、学校に送って先生に添削してもらう。(ケニア、2020年4月7日撮影) © UNICEF_UNI326279_Otieno

Sheila studying at Kibera’s home. Once a week, the teacher sends the assignment to his parents’ mobile phone, prints it out, and then sends it to the school for correction by the teacher. (Kenya, taken on April 7, 2020) © UNICEF_UNI326279_Otieno

[May 20, 2020 from Dakar (Senegal) / Nairobi (Kenya)]

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) today announced a new partnership with Airtel Africa, an African subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel. It aims to provide children with access to distance learning and to help families receive cash through mobile money transfers. UNICEF and Airtel Africa reach an estimated 133 million school-age children in 13 sub-Saharan countries through mobile technology, with schools closed under the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Provide service.

The impact of school closures on children’s learning is well documented. Education professionals have warned that increasing access to learning risks losing or even completely overturning the results of the last decade. And for the world’s poorest households, a pandemic means that mobility restrictions reduce or completely lose income. Distance learning is one of UNICEF’s core efforts to enable children with digital tools at home to continue learning. Airtel Africa will zero-rate educational content websites (free communication) and provide children with free remote access to digital content.

«COVID-19 is affecting access to information and education on an unprecedented scale,» said UNICEF Deputy Secretary-General Faya’s King. “Most children in the world are out of school, which can lead to further fragility and hinder progress. UNICEF works with Airtel Africa to help children and families affected by widespread school closures. To do»

小学校が休校になり、毎日ラジオを通じて6年生の授業に取り組む11歳の女の子。(ルワンダ、2020年4月9日撮影) © UNICEF_UNI319832_Kanobana

An 11-year-old girl whose elementary school is closed and works on 6th grade classes every day through the radio. (Rwanda, taken on April 9, 2020) © UNICEF_UNI319832_Kanobana

The partnership also provides essential cash to ease the economic barriers to the most vulnerable households in the region, including those with increasing socio-economic difficulties due to loss of income. We will provide UNICEF with a means of promoting benefit support. This will allow households to secure funding to address the pandemic health and economic crisis.

The partnership’s efforts target children and their families in 13 sub-Saharan countries: Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. ..

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A word from the staff

Online learning has become widespread in Japan as a result of the spread of the coronavirus. However, in some homes it is difficult to bear the cost of preparing the environment. Especially in Africa, once an educational opportunity is lost, it is difficult to recover, which will lead to a decrease in the number of human resources who will lead the country in the future. I think that supporting the continuation of learning now will be related to the future development of the country.