The COVID-19 outbreak has negatively affected the education of approximately 1.37 billion learners. Even if only temporary, the impact on learners was significant and required fast and fitting mitigating measures.
The education sector itself had to find solutions, while governments attempted to push for necessary reforms and intermediate patches to increase the resilience of the education system. Globally, we witnessed the transition to (partial) online learning to ensure that students' education and learning was not fully disrupted. At the same time, the transition to distance learning did not necessarily mitigate the impact of the learning crisis for the most vulnerable groups due to their limited access to technology (e.g. devices, connectivity, affordable internet access, etc.) and existing digital literacy and skills gaps.
Now, more than ever, digital solutions are needed to ensure that education, as a public social service, continues and that increased access for learners from all backgrounds is ensured. In this sense, EdTech projects have the potential to bring together the resources, competencies and digital technologies that teachers and educators need to create effective online learning.
The Wehubit programme supports projects that use hybrid approaches – combining online and offline solutions - to learning, paying specific attention to including learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and other vulnerable groups. With increased digitalisation in the education sector, comes additional responsibilities to ensure that all learners can participate in learning activities and that the digital divide is narrowed rather than widened.
In this sense, Wehubit aims to strengthen digital solutions in order to foster the continuity and quality of education in the context of the “ACP-EU Digital Connectivity and Digital Solutions to Strengthen the Resilience of Education, Health and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’(MSMEs) Systems to COVID-19 in ACP Countries” intervention, funded by the European Union.