Online learning: Morocco, UNDP launch crowdfunding campaign to buy electronic devices for rural students
London, Sep. 22, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Morocco Ministry of Education and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a crowdfunding program to assist students facing challenges with COVID-19 distance/online learning.
A statement from the ministry said the campaign seeks to finance the purchase of electronic mobile devices, specifically tablets, for children in disadvantaged areas across Morocco.
Morocco’s government announced several measures to limit the spread of the pandemic among students and teachers with the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The measures included the adoption of full time distance/online learning for students, whose parents choose remote classes instead of in-person education.
Remote education/online learning was an unprecedented strategy for Morocco when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in March.
Morocco decided to shut down schools on March 16, introducing online classes that the Ministry of Education launched on learning websites and television channels.
The strategy was challenging for some, especially students who live in remote areas and lack resources to buy the necessary equipment, including computers, phones, and tablets, as well as internet access.
Several NGOs launched initiatives to assist disadvantaged students but the challenges persist among rural pupils.
In response, the UNDP and the ministry announced collaboration to raise funds to help the students through their “Bringing school back to children” campaign.
According to the ministry the initiative seeks to “reduce inequalities between students in terms of access to distance learning.”
The UNDP and the ministry seek to use the collected funds to buy electronic devices with pre-installed educational material and internet access for students in disadvantaged areas in Morocco.
“The amount collected via the crowdfunding campaign will complete the resources allocated by the kingdom of Norway, UNDP’s partner,” to promote efforts seeking to assist students pursuing their studies despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign has collected over $150,000 at the time of writing.
Through the funding, the UNDP aims to help Morocco fulfill its goal and allow all students to benefit from online classes equally. The pilot phase of the program aims to connect over 1,600 students, with outlook for broader impact.
“It also comes as part of UNDP’s global call to action” in its “Solidarity against COVID-19: Together, we are united” campaign, to mobilize support for local pandemic challenges in seven Arab countries.
Morocco continues to record over one thousand COVID-19 cases daily, and a higher mortality rate than the first months after the outbreak.
To date, Morocco has recorded 101,743 COVID-19 cases, including 80,732 recoveries and 1,830 deaths.
The health minister continues to warn of the worsening situation, calling on citizens to respect preventive measures to avoid the spread of the pandemic.