On November 20th, The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) convened a debate on education and innovation in emergencies and how technology and innovation can be used to reach the most marginalized learners.
Globally, there are an estimated 124 million children and adolescents out of school, of which 34 million live in conflict-affected countries.1,100 million children and young people are affected by natural disasters every year and most of them face disruptions to their schooling. The need to fulfill the right to education in times of crisis is vital, yet children and young people who live in emergency settings are some of the most marginalized in the world. At the same time, the quality of education in many emergency situations remains low. Education has not received high enough priority in humanitarian response and as a result only 2% of all humanitarian aid was directed to education in 2014. The relatively poor funding of education in development aid and humanitarian appeals, starkly contrasts with the high prioritization that communities and children place on education in the context of emergencies.
It was a real honor for me to take part in the discussion and learn about the innovative solutions and new technologies designed to facilitate access to learning and which also supports learners and teachers in conflict, disaster, or other emergency settings.
With the software solution that we are designing for the XPRIZE, we believe we will bring a scalable, innovative solution for teaching basic early grade skills in mother tongue in an emergency context.