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UNICEF Mozambique/2020/Claudio Fauvrelle
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ImpactDefeat Poverty

Teachers on TV — How Thousands of Children in Mozambique Are Learning During COVID-19.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The COVID-19 pandemic is holding back progress towards the UN's Global Goals and the mission to end extreme poverty — impacting everything from health, to gender equality, to education, to good nutrition, and more. Join the movement to end the pandemic and get back on track to achieving the UN's Global Goals by taking action here to support our Recovery Plan for the World campaign. 

Children around the world have been forced to learn from home since the pandemic left classrooms empty and playgrounds silent. And for thousands of students in Mozambique, dialling into lessons online has not been an option — instead, their teachers come to them on TV. 

14-year-old Amilcar and his sister Alzira are studying at home using the television program Telescola, provided by Televisão de Moçambique (TVM), the national public broadcaster of Mozambique.

Every afternoon at 3pm, the two students place their notebooks on the small wooden table in their living room and turn on the television to follow the classes broadcast by TVM. 

Alzira is set on becoming a civil engineer, but her school closed in March 2020 when the government declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the schools closed, Telescola is helping me to continue studying at home so that I can continue working to make my dream come true" she says. "I try to maintain a routine while I'm at home: wake up and do my housework, then study and watch Telescola. Without Telescola, it would be difficult to understand the subjects and solve some exercises."

“I dream of being an architect because I like to draw. I know I need to go to school to achieve my dream," adds her brother Amilcar.

COVID-19 has seriously stalled education for children around the world, and since March 2020, nearly 15,000 schools and universities in Mozambique have been closed, affecting more than 8.5 million students.

Home working on laptops with the internet is certainly not available to all so remote learning initiatives like TVM are providing an opportunity for students like Alzira and Amilcar to continue their education during the pandemic.

The more than $6.9 billion mobilized during Global Citizen’s 2020 Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast is helping organizations like Education Cannot Wait, deliver learning access to vulnerable communities around the world. Right now, Education Cannot Wait is providing urgent and innovative education resources to children in the most vulnerable countries.

Early reports show that the organizations’ COVID-19 first emergency responses has already reached nearly 9 million children across 34 crisis-affected nations. UNICEF, with funding from Education Cannot Wait (ECW), is supporting TV and radio education programs like Telescola in Mozambique to help students like Alzira and Amilcar stay up to date with school.

More than 1.6 billion children may never return to school after the pandemic, according to the World Economic Forum.

But thanks to actions of Global Citizens, commitments pledged towards Education Cannot Wait at Global Goal: Unite for Our Future have helped more than 6 million children access learning resources since COVID-19 began.

The teachers who participate clarify many of my doubts, and I can do the exercise sheets they give us at school and also can better understand the subject."

Even prior to COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of the world’s children were categorized as the “learning poor,” meaning that they would be unlikely to reach adulthood with basic numeracy and literacy skills. An additional 10% have already joined them due to the pandemic — and as school closures continue, it’s only going to get worse.

Global Goal: Unite for Our Future was a summit and a concert aimed at mobilizing funding to help tackle the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized communities.

As part of the event, US telecommunications company Verizon pledged US$1 million toward Education Cannot Wait, a global fund to transform the delivery of education in emergencies, to help governments and development agencies based in vulnerable communities urgently respond to education shortfall created by COVID-19.

In February, Global Citizen released a report detailing the remarkable impact of the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast and revealing that, less than a year on from the event, almost $1.1 billion — 72% — of the $1.5 billion in mobilized grants is currently supporting millions of people around the world.

Into 2021, this funding is also funding global programs and organizations that are providing equitable COVID-19 health care, and supporting the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities as they combat the daily impacts of the pandemic. Parts of this article were originally published by Education Cannot Wait. You can read the original article here.