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Studyportals joins Global Education Coalition

Education choice platform Studyportals has joined a UNESCO initiative to protect education access for more than 1.5 billion students and youth who have been affected by school and university closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two-thirds of low- and lower-middle-income countries have cut their public education budgets since the onset of the pandemic, according to UNESCO/ World Bank. Photo: UNESCO

"There is a massive and diverse set of global obstacles for education access, and the global pandemic has widened that divide"

The Global Education Coalition brings together over 160 members from multilateral agencies, local education organisations and prominent global organisations such as World Health Organization, Microsoft, Google and Uber, and seeks to ensure that #LearningNeverStops.

“Many students faced with an obstacle do not have the information on offerings”

The coalition was launched in March 2020 to provide appropriate distance education for learners as they “entered a radically new age of learning”, UNESCO said.

“The greatest danger is that children from marginalised backgrounds will lose out on their education,” warned UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay at the time.

Its three objectives include: supporting the equitable continuation of learning during the Covid-19 pandemic; ensuring a full and equitable return to education following the pandemic; and strengthening learning systems for the future.

“There is a massive and diverse set of global obstacles for education access, and the global pandemic has widened that divide,” said Edwin van Rest, CEO and co-founder of Studyportals.

“However, an increasing amount of learning opportunities arise daily of a broad nature and some of them particularly geared to mitigate these obstacles – e.g., zero/low-cost options, low-bandwidth, work-and-learn solutions, online education, competency-based learning, adaptive learning, all types of blended forms and so on.”

However one of the biggest obstacles – awareness and information – is often overlooked, he continued.

“Many students faced with an obstacle do not have the information on the offerings out there that would mitigate that obstacle. Some do have a hunch but not the confidence that it could work for them,” he said.

Studyportals said its platform will help students find their best-fit study programs, and discover solutions in overcoming obstacles to learning such as lack of funding, proximity or time.

“We pledge to eliminate the information obstacle,” van Rest added.

“Through comprehensive data, transparency and user-friendly platform, we make sure there is a future where no one needs to be missing an education opportunity due to a lack of information.”

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