Unesco literacy app aids kids

Unesco literacy app aids kids

A literacy project using an app specifically designed by Unesco to extend education to thousands of migrant children along the Thai-Myanmar border was launched yesterday, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

The "Mobile Literacy for Out-of-School Children Project", aimed at helping disadvantaged minority children with little access to education, was launched by Unesco Bangkok, Microsoft, True Corp and Thailand's Office of Informal and Non-Formal Education (ONIE).

Under the initiative, 20 migrant learning centres and community learning centres along the Thai border, covering 4,000 migrant, stateless and ethnic minority children as well as 100 Thai and Myanmar teachers, will receive Windows tablets from Microsoft, pre-loaded with a Unesco-designed app tailored to the specific needs of learners in those areas. The app has over 1,000 books and teaching materials in the Thai, Myanmar and Karen languages. There are also two separate versions of the app for students and teachers.

Both versions will feature basic education textbooks and non-formal education curricula of Thailand and Myanmar, and books to develop learners' reading skills in the three languages.

True Corp will provide internet and satellite TV packages that focus on educational TV and ONIE will provide additional materials and training and will be key in the programme's implementation.

Ichiro Miyazawa, Unesco programme specialist in literacy and lifelong learning, said 400 tablets have been distributed to 20 learning centres in Tak, Ranong and Chaing Rai, covering at least 1,440 learners (with four sharing one tablet) as well as 40 teachers.

"Next year, another 700 tablets will be provided for 2,560 learners and 60 teachers. Expert-led training programmes will also ensure that educators and students alike can make the best use of the tools," Mr Miyazawa said.

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