Mastercard Foundation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have partnered to provide equitable learning opportunities for more than nine million children in Ghana.

The two-year programme is part of the Mastercard Foundation Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, the foundation said in a statement.

It is understood that the programme, which commenced in June 2020 and runs until May 2022, supports the implementation of virtual and distance learning through radio, SMS, and online learning platforms which will be made available to children across the country.

Mastercard Foundation and UNICEF are executing this project through the country’s Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service.

‘Learning has been disrupted for approximately nine million girls and boys in Ghana since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March’, Representative of UNICEF in Ghana, Anne-Claire Dufay, said.

‘While some children have returned, nearly eight million children partially missed out on their third term of this academic year. For the most marginalised, this can lead to negative consequences which may last a lifetime.

‘When children are not learning, they are less likely to break out of the cycle of poverty. Thanks to this strategic partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, UNICEF will support government efforts to ensure innovative opportunities for safe and quality continuous learning for every child’.

Learners are being provided with access to online platforms to engage with GES-approved coursework and materials and screen time with tutors.

To ensure equitable access to all, children in remote locations or without access to smart devices will benefit from lessons via community radio stations and SMS.

‘The pandemic has had a multi-faceted impact on education, but those who have borne the brunt of its adverse effects are children from vulnerable households and girls’, Regional Head for Western, Central, and Northern Africa at Mastercard Foundation, Nathalie Gabala, said.

‘To ensure that the pandemic does not exacerbate existing inequalities, this programme is designed to enable learning in the short-, medium-, and long-term, including preparing for potential future crises. Even when schools re-open, we will need to pay special attention to the needs of children who may have fallen further back than their peers and those who are likely not to return’.

Source: Mastercard Foundation

Photo source: UNICEF

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