The Government of Japan and Unicef Philippines turned over 400 educational tablets containing digital learning materials in select locations in Eastern Visayas to support at least 800 Samar and Northern Samar learners classified as non-readers and struggling readers.
As young children learn most effectively in their mother tongue, the tablets will be provided to Grades 1-3 learners of 30 schools to support the development of their foundational skills in early literacy. This is part of the Unicef-supported Learning Recovery Programme being rolled out by the Department of Education (DepEd) Region VIII, which aims to mitigate learning loss caused by school closures during the lockdowns in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from the digital learning materials, Japan and Unicef are also supporting the development of the Comprehensive Rapid Literacy Assessment in Mother Tongue and the training needed to effectively utilize the tool. This is a crucial intervention, as results from the administered assessments will determine learner profiles and necessary interventions needed for each student.
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“Today’s event is a testament to our commitment to helping every child learn despite the most difficult circumstances. We have always believed in meeting children where they are. Providing them with resources in the language they know best, through digital learning, will give them the confidence and skills needed to become lifelong learners,” said Isy Faingold, chief of education, Unicef Philippines.
To further make instruction more conducive for learners, Unicef will also roll out a professional development program to capacitate teachers and school heads on effective early literacy strategies.
The Government of Japan’s support is part of its $ 2.5 million donation to Unicef Philippines through its Humanitarian Assistance for the Asia Pacific. Since the start of the pandemic, Japan has donated $5.87 million (approximately P331 million) of COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines through UNICEF.
“I am hopeful that this intervention will be effective in mitigating learning loss on children that is aggravated by the pandemic. As a long-standing partner of the UNICEF, the Government of Japan is grateful to add this programme to our roster of development cooperation with the UNICEF Philippines,” said KANNO Chihiro, first secretary from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.