CITY OF TACLOBAN, July 28, 2022 – The Government of Japan and UNICEF Philippines donated 400 educational tablets containing digital learning materials in selected native languages ​​of Eastern Visayas to support at least 800 learners in Samar and Norther Samar classified as non-readers and readers in difficulty.

As young children learn more effectively in their first language, the tablets will be provided to learners in Grades 1-3 at 30 schools to support the development of their foundational early literacy skills. This is part of the UNICEF-supported Learning Recovery Program implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) Region VIII, which aims to mitigate the loss of learning caused by school closures during the closures during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the digital learning materials, Japan and UNICEF are also supporting the development of the Comprehensive Native Language Rapid Literacy Assessment and the training needed to use the tool effectively. This is a critical intervention, as the results of the assessments administered will determine learner profiles and the interventions needed for each student. “Today’s event demonstrates our commitment to helping every child learn despite the most difficult circumstances. We have always believed in meeting children where they are. Providing them with resources in the language they know best, through digital learning, will give them the confidence and skills to become lifelong learners,” said Isy Faingold, Head of education at UNICEF in the Philippines. To make teaching more conducive to learners, UNICEF will also implement a professional development program to train teachers and school leaders in effective early literacy strategies.

The Japanese government’s support is part of its US$2.5 million donation to UNICEF Philippines through its Asia Pacific Humanitarian Assistance. Since the start of the pandemic, Japan has donated $5.87 million (about PHP 331 million) in COVID-19 aid to the Philippines through UNICEF.

“I hope this intervention will be effective in mitigating the learning loss of children which is aggravated by the pandemic. As a long-time partner of UNICEF, the Government of Japan is grateful to add this program to its development cooperation list with UNICEF Philippines,” said First Secretary KANNO Chihiro of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines.

All schools in the Philippines were closed between March 2020 and October 2021 due to the pandemic and Filipino children have mostly experimented with remote learning as a way to continue their education. This has deepened a serious learning crisis in the country, leaving the most marginalized children even further behind. However, with DepEd expressing plans to reopen in-person classes at all schools at the end of 2022, efforts are now focused on recovering learning. The Government of Japan and UNICEF Philippines remain committed to working with DepEd to ensure that every Filipino child regains all the learning lost during the pandemic.

Media contacts

Niko Wieland
Communications Manager
UNICEF Philippines
Tel: +63 917 867 8366
Email: [email protected]