Since March 2020, the Djibouti Ministry of Education and National training (MENFOP), together with GPE and other partners - World Bank, USAID, WFP and UNHCR - have been working to find solutions to address school closures due to the COVID-19 crisis.
With the country facing a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and 5,866 confirmed cases as of January 11, the government took the first step in establishing the Djibouti COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and formed a crisis committee to coordinate multisectoral efforts, including measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Thanks to continued dialogue between the government and the partners in the local education group meetings, measures were launched to ensure learning continuity, including a multiple-channel approach to distance learning to ensure pedagogical support to students: daily courses through television and radio, virtual classes using Google Classroom and Classera, as well the distribution of booklets and paper materials.
The focus is on vulnerable children, including children living in remote areas, refugees, and girls, particularly as studies show that these children are at higher risk of dropping out the longer they are out of school.
Ensuring an all-around approach to students’ support
As the MENFOP was implementing its preparedness efforts, it became aware that members of civil society, including communities, parents, and parent associations, would have a unique role to play and would be “privileged partners” in ensuring not only learning continuity during school closures, but also a safe return to school once schools reopened.