A new way of care and education for children of Kosovo during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact in children’s lives, especially those coming from vulnerable communities in Kosovo. Since the recording of the first COVID -19 positive case in mid-March, the Kosovo Government implemented measures to contain the spread of the virus. These measures included lockdowns and school closures which have caused a disruption to children’s lives.
While children are considered not at a high risk of suffering the immediate health impacts from COVID-19, the pressure that the pandemic is placing on health and education systems is having a negative impact on the ability of children to access routine health services, as well as access to quality early childhood education. For children coming from poorer families facing financial and other barriers, the impact is bigger. Considering this, Save the Children in Kosovo offered its expertise and support to Kosovo institutions to find an alternative way of delivering early childhood education to children 0-6 years from the most vulnerable communities in Kosovo.
Ministry of Education, together with relevant donors decided to develop a distance learning platform, enabling all parents/caregivers to have access to education material and activities in support of early childhood care and education of children 0-6 years based on the Kosovo curriculum and Children's development and learning standards.
Save the Children carried out intensive work and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science (MES) and UNICEF developed the distance learning platform for children of ages 0-6.
The distance learning platform for children of ages 0-6 years was launched on April 15th, one month after measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in Kosovo were in place. The content of the activities presented on this platform, aims to support the comprehensive development of children during early childhood and supports parents/caregivers with information and meaningful materials. The platform is available in Albanian, Turkish and Serbian languages and within just one week, saw over 500 000 visits to the site, not just from Kosovo but also other countries.
Learning activities at home
After the launch of the distance learning platform, Save the Children organized the #welearnathome social media campaign encouraging parents/caregivers and children to pictures of activities implemented using the platform. During this time we received many messages from parents/caregivers as well as educators working with children from distance stating their appreciation about the development of the distance platform for children 0-6 years old in Kosovo.
An educator wrote us on our social media:
“ I am an educator and wanted to congratulate you on the development of the distance learning platform for early education. I have seen great results from the distance learning of chidlren I teach since the platform launched. You have done such a wonderful work that even the MESTI plan is so well adjusted that I am not having any issues in implementing the early learning curriculum."
With no vaccine in sight, for now children continue to use the platform as a new way of learning from home. If in the near future the situation becomes better, the platform will remain available especially for children who do not have proper physical access to early childhood care and development centres in their communities.