Caribbean: The new UNICEF Representative to the Eastern Caribbean, Pieter Bult, said challenges to childhood education arising from the COVID-19 pandemic presented opportunities for improvement.
“The most obvious is the online environment,” he explained. “We were not successful in making sure that children were able to access learning, but we did learn that online learning and using digital tools in the classroom to educate our children is feasible and possible, so in the coming years, we have to use that to our advantage to compliment teaching because digital tools and facilities can strengthen learning.”
UNICEF hopes to advocate for educational reform to develop children’s skills relevant to the future job market.
Bult said, “The skills that young people should have to be productive members of society and good employees are not the same as what they used to be. This is a global challenge. The education system needs to be significantly reformed, and I think this is why the pandemic has opened our eyes and brought some of these technologies into the classroom. This we now have to explore because it is part of our reform agenda now—bringing stronger technology into the agenda but also learning different skills that allow children to become more resilient, more independent, more communicative, and more collaborative. So we need a new type of skillset while not doing away with other basic skills.”
UNICEF is responsible for the provision of humanitarian aid to children all over the world.