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UN agency starts Palestinian digital learning platform

GAZA (AFP): The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Monday announced the launch of a digitalised education platform to prevent 540,000 students being left without schooling due to coronavirus or conflict. 

The platform, in Arabic and English, is to be used by Palestinian students in countries and territories including Jordan, war-torn Syria, Lebanon, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.

It is designed to make remote learning an interactive experience, offering students quizzes and games, with each lesson accompanied by videos.

UNRWA, the UN agency, provides education and other basic services to children and students in 711 schools across the Middle East.

Schooling has sometimes been interrupted over the decades by armed conflict, and — over the past year — lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new “platform… is crucial for the continuation of learning in times of crisis, including the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and associated school closures,” said Moritz Bilagher, the agency’s acting director of education. 

“This system prioritises giving students a comprehensive, consistent educational experience during this turbulent period,” he added.

“Given the realities of providing education in one of the most volatile regions of the world, it will become a regularly maintained and monitored part of our educational” programme.