With school closures across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, education has been massively disrupted for millions of young people over the past year. However, many school-aged children were missing out long before we had even heard of Covid-19. In 2017, UNICEF reported that around 123 million children were not attending school on a given day; just slightly down from the 135 million in 2007. With education for children in emergencies so drastically underfunded in humanitarian aid, innovative thinkers are providing alternative and much-needed solutions to this global crisis.
Today, our spotlight falls on e-Learning for kids. Founded in 2004, this US 501(c)(3) and Dutch Stitching non-profit is working hard to provide more children worldwide with access to free, high-quality education. Keep reading to find out more about them!
Why are children missing out on an education?
Young people living in areas of poverty and conflict are the most likely to miss out on a full education. Conflicts in Iraq and Syria, for example, have meant that children growing up in these areas are disproportionately affected. In 2017, the Borgen Project reported that 70% of children in South Sudan were not receiving an education. The fact that so many children are being displaced from their homes, separated from their families and forced to live as refugees, means that they are unable to receive the education they deserve.
While progress is being made, there is still a long way to go. The most marginalised children are still the most affected, with socioeconomic status playing a huge role in primary education attendance and completion rates. In addition, girls face extra barriers such as child marriage, pregnancy, sanitation needs and gender-based violence. The Malala Fund also predicts that the damage caused by Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on the number of girls in education in the Majority World. Lastly, even where children are attending school, they may not be developing literacy and numeracy skills at the same rate as their peers for a multitude of reasons.
How is e-Learning For Kids tackling this?
Education is a human right. Not having access to it greatly limits the potential of young people and their future employment prospects. e-Learning For Kids aims to provide chances where they otherwise might not exist – that’s why their slogan is ‘founding dreams’. So far, they have reached over 25 million children in over 120 countries, with the aim of increasing this to 100 million by 2025.
“The number of children lacking basic reading skills jumped to 584 million in 2020. The e-Learning For Kids Foundation is working to change that number by supporting children around the world with access to free, digital learning.”
Prof. Dr Nick van Dam, Founder of E-Learning For Kids
e-Learning For Kids’ mission consists of two main pillars: learning should be both free and fun. Their Math and Science portals take students on an interactive global journey, on which they can acquire new skills – making education exciting! The lessons themselves are high-quality, curriculum-based and guided by proven instructional design standards. As such, they also teach valuable skills around critical thinking, as well as increasing children’s knowledge of the wider world around them through introducing them to new places, cultures and natural environments. Content is targeted at young learners aged 5-12 and ranges from Kindergarten to Grade 6 so that each individual child can work at a level that feels comfortable and appropriate for them. With over 550 lessons per language, there’s plenty to be getting on with!
To increase accessibility, lessons are available to download for offline use, as well as online access via their learning portal. While this isn’t a conclusive solution to internet inequality, it does take into account the likelihood of it being a barrier to education. At the time of writing, e-Learning For Kids’ offer lessons in both English and Spanish. However, the team is constantly working to develop new lessons, offer more language options and expand their reach – their focus for 2021 is to ensure all grades in Maths World and Science World are available in Spanish, as well as adding a Computer Skills course. TextUnited is proud and humbled to be a part of making this happen, through our affordable translation services.
What can I do to help?
If you have been inspired by what e-Learning For Kids does, you can help them to realise their ambition by making a donation here. Alternatively, they are always looking for partners to help fund their mission or to assist with the distribution of their materials to schools, teachers and children. It goes without saying that an investment in education is an investment in society itself.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about e-Learning For Kids and their amazing work! As well as checking out their website, you can follow them on LinkedIn to keep up with their future endeavours. We are so excited to watch them continue to grow and increase their impact across the globe, over the coming years.
For enquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.