Of all the statistics to emerge from the current COVID-19 pandemic, here’s one to consider: 1.5 billion children across the world are currently not attending school.
Fortunately, a global network of local teachers and educators is working to support many of these students and their families, particularly those in the most marginalized communities, to continue to learn.
Over the last decade, the Teach For All network have helped create the space and platforms needed to foster the sharing of ideas and strategies. And, since 2018, in partnership with the BHP Foundation, Teach For All has been building the capacity of community leaders to enhance local educational opportunities.
Now, that expertise is proving more critical than ever.
CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All Wendy Kopp says their global community of teachers, educators and leaders is leaning in to ensure children in communities hardest hit by the pandemic are safe and continuing to learn.
‘We’ve never been more physically isolated in communities, countries and globally and yet our interdependence has never been more visible,’ says Wendy.
Across Teach For All’s network, partners are now learning to navigate the unprecedented situation within their own countries.
‘That’s given us a real opportunity to learn from them and to engage all the organizations in our network to learn with and alongside others,’ says Wendy.
‘In moments of great uncertainty, these stories are giving me hope.’
In China, Teach For All fellows and alumni working in rural communities have partnered with families to foster ongoing learning across diverse contexts. While families with internet can access an online learning platform, families with little or no internet but with a mobile phone can participate in lessons and homework developed for WeChat (China's most popular messaging app).
In countries where technology is more readily available, Teach For All network teachers are helping the transition to online learning. In Sweden, free training sessions on distance learning are available to any teachers who are interested.
Hundreds of teachers from across the Teach For All network have also joined ‘Teaching Without Internet’ WhatsApp groups in Spanish, French, English and Arabic to share resources for reaching students in the most under-resourced contexts.
While Teach For All’s Virtual Navigator provides network partners with resources for planning and implementing virtual learning.
Read more about the innovative Teach For All project funded by BHP Foundation.