UNESCO together with High Life Foundation participated in a radio discussion on learning platforms on the occasion of the launch of UNICEF’s Zimbabwe Learning Passport.
The Learning Passport addresses the challenges faced by millions of children and youth worldwide to access continued, quality education in times of crisis and when access is limited to traditional learning.
The discussion revolved around key questions such as: Why are learning platforms critical to education? What is the role of technology within the education space? Can intended school results still be achieved using digital learning platforms?
Contributing to the discussion, UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa Education Specialist, Julia Heiss said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the fore the potential of online learning platforms to sustain continuity of learning.
Julia Heiss said, “COVID reminded us of the potential role of learning platforms. We now live in a knowledge society triggered by the technological revolution and the emergence of the concept of the online classroom. Millions of learners now have access to technology and learning platforms will play a role in improving access to education.
She further said, “Learning platforms can help in providing alternative pathways to education especially in instances when conventional forms of education are compromised such as during the COVID19 pandemic. Learning platforms complement conventional forms of education and in the years to come will constitute a major part of the teaching and learning agenda.”
Julia Heiss said, “UNESCO continues to invest in capacity building and training of teachers and was in the process of training over 2000 Zimbabwean teachers in open and online teaching through digital platforms, WhatsApp and radio lessons. This UNESCO Rapid teacher training programme on open, distance and online learning will be rolled out until August 2021. The training will also be made available to many more teachers through a MOOC.”
Chiedza Juru from Highlife Foundation said the COVID-19 pandemic had shown that learning cannot only take pace in schools. We need to shift our mindsets and … parents must embrace technology in education, this is also important for the world of work.