UNICEF and Microsoft launch Learning Passport for borderless education

UNICEF and Microsoft Corp got together on Monday to launch a unique personalized digital platform called Learning Passport to help the students stuck at home due to unexpected school closures.

Following the collaboration, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and Microsoft will jointly design the ‘learning passport’ to make sure that impacted students continue with their learning without losing track of their academic achievements and don’t let school closures disrupt their educational journey.

According to UNESCO’s data, around 190 countries have announced near-total closures of educational institutes so far, thus impacting the daily lives of approximately 1.57 billion students worldwide. In light of the outbreak and disruption of regular education sources, many countries have resorted to online educational platforms.

From the prestigious Harvard university offering free and unlimited online classes to Singapore renting out around 12000 electronic devices to aid distance learning, the pandemic has caused students to adapt to remote learning techniques abruptly yet effectively.

Learning Passport – Because education knows no boundaries

Another such initiative to assist students in tackling this education crisis is the Learning Passport. It is a result of the tripartite association between UNICEF, Microsoft, and the University of Cambridge. Initially built with a vision to educate the refugee and less fortunate children, it now aims to undergo rapid extension for borderless education.

Executive Director at UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, said in the announcement that the lockdown measures and school shutdowns are likely to leave a long-lasting impression on the mindset of many young kids. And while it does help in limiting the spread to a large extent, it could present substantial challenges for families – especially from low-income groups.

As a result, Fore believes that humanitarian platforms and tech companies need to come together and offer their assistance in this challenging time and mitigate as much impact on children’s daily routine as possible. With its long-term association with Microsoft, UNICEF is able to integrate innovation and technology into education to find practical solutions for the youth, Fore explained.

What it has to offer

The Learning Passport, which is a much-in-demand outcome of over 18 months of research and development, rapidly expanded its scope when COVID-18 began to gain a stronger foothold across the globe. Now, any institute with an academic curriculum can make the most of this platform by incorporating it into the online learning methods.

The announcement further states that Timor-Leste, Ukraine, and Kosovo, which committed to safeguarding the health of its population by announcing lockdowns, will be the first states to incorporate this online tutoring platform. With the launch of the Learning Passport, students will gain access to online course material, books, and video lessons along with a personalized approach to disabled students.

Children who wish to explore this option can get access via their respective country’s learningpassport.unicef.org page. Each country will boast a digitized syllabus, with an additional option of local languages, that is fine-tuned to meet the demands of the online students and teachers. It will also help students keep a close track of what subjects they have learned so far and suggest what’s the best way forward.

Microsoft – Putting crisis to good use

Commenting further on envisioning a borderless education platform through Learning Passport, Brad Smith, President for Microsoft, added that the concept primarily addresses the remote schooling gap that exists for so many underprivileged kids. In essence, it brings classroom-like learning right at their doorsteps.

In related news, Microsoft tapped into more opportunities presented by COVID-19 disaster by supposedly launching a much safer, and transparent version of Zoom called the Microsoft Teams, earlier this month. It claims to address the data privacy concerns surrounding Zoom when used for online learning or work from home purposes.

English Forward’s enthusiastic response

“There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all” – from the song “We are the World”

We are all humans, and in times of crisis, we need to lead with humanity. UNICEF and Microsoft have launched the Learning Passport for borderless education, a wonderful initiative not only for the children who cannot attend school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for the children who don’t have schools, and the opportunity this creates for inclusive education for all.

With over 50% of the information freely available on the internet for education, but only 20% of humanity speaking and understanding English, we have a huge commitment to giving students access to the KEY that will unlock education for them…the English language. We are looking for various collaborators to get our blockchain initiative up and running

EnglishForward.com has a vast FREE library of English Q&A to educate students in English, and the internets largest learn English community available to help make the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) a reality – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

How can we help? Get onboard with us. Test the functionality of our English language learning platform. Perhaps our over 17 years of organic growth, 40 thousand daily active users and a growing community of 296,414,394 subscribers could be the spark that will create a long-lasting compassion for out-of-school children. Send us a letter: [email protected]



Featured Image by UNICEF