UNICEF: Amid COVID-19 crisis, ensure learning for kids without internet access

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2020 01:17 PM

MANILA - The continued learning of children without access to the internet must be ensured as the opening of schools remained uncertain due to the coronavirus crisis, an official from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the Philippines said Sunday.

The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has forced schools to close down and conduct online classes for students at home. But solutions must also be made for those who do not have access to internet connectivity, said Isy Faingold, head of education work at UNICEF-Philippines.

"We need to have differentiated strategies for those with connectivity that can use online learning (and) also for those without connectivity," Faingold told ABS-CBN News Channel.

He said the Department of Education is closely working with UNICEF and other educational organizations to prepare a "learning continuity plan," which includes measures on offline learning, for the next school year.

"We are considering not only online solutions and alternatives, but also offline opportunities [like] take-home materials, radio, television and other means," he said.

The education department has yet to decide on the opening of classes, traditionally scheduled in June, as Luzon and many other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao remain under lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

As of Saturday, the Philippines has logged 6,087 COVID-19 cases, including 516 recoveries and 397 deaths.