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With more than 3.6 million students not attending face-to-face classes due to the health emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing the greatest disruption to education in Chile in a generation.

Students without access to the internet or computers are clearly at an educational disadvantage; likewise, many teachers don’t have the skills or tools to manage distance learning, widening the gap in education equity.

That’s why the BHP Foundation is taking action, committing US$1.6 million to an Education Crisis Response Program to address Chile’s most urgent educational needs. Through technology and digital tools, the program will allow students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to face the challenges of the 21st century.

The program will also complement existing public-educational policy and content.

BHP Foundation Chair Chip Goodyear says it’s about contributing to a solution that is critical for the education system in Chile.

“We’ve got a unique opportunity to collaborate with organizations that have the potential to transform the system and better equip this generation of students – and the generations to come – with the skills they need for the future,” says Chip.

“It’s also about encouraging teachers to find more innovative ways to engage their students, and for students to be more actively engaged in how they learn.”

The program supports six initiatives targeting three educational priorities.

1.    Ensure continuity of learning through access to the internet or offline solutions:

  • ‘Aprendo en Casa’ provides online and offline learning platforms and content to balance the learning process;
  • Fundación Chile’s project ‘Aprender (A) SER’ delivers quality educational content through Educa TV Chile, a new TV channel for education; 
  • ‘Kodea’s Digital Academy’ supports students and teachers without digital access or skills and enables digital inclusion through innovation and technology.

2.    Ensure teachers are equipped to deliver online learning:

  • Enseña Chile’s ‘Colegios que Aprenden’ supports teachers to provide effective digital distance learning to students.

3.    Support the emotional wellbeing of students:

  • Comunidad Mujer ‘Girls First’ protects school-age girls and young women from situations of risk and loss of opportunities;
  • School of Psychology of Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez focuses on the emotional health and well-being of the school community including students, teachers and families.

A national Knowledge Network of education experts, organizations and the BHP Foundation will also enhance the scope and impact of the initiatives.

“Initiatives like these enable students to access education regardless of their location or circumstance,” says Chip.

“In doing so, we can make a significant step towards closing the gap on education quality for the most vulnerable students in the population.”

Read more about BHP Foundation’s programs in Chile.

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