We reflect on the last two years as the Learn for Life Foundation brought close to 700,000 students back to the classroom with the Grant Guarantee Program during the height of the pandemic .
2020 was a watershed year for education as schools worldwide were forced to shut down in a bid to prevent the escalation of COVID-19 infection rates. The statistics are stunning. According to UNICEF, around 214 million children missed out on in-person learning for almost three quarters of the school term.
During this period of uncertainty, the crisis also forced schools to press the fast forward button on plans to digitize education, heralding a new era of learning. An era that promotes flexibility, adaptive and personalized learning.
Yet the journey to the promised classroom of tomorrow was not without its own set of challenges. Students and teachers found themselves grappling with unfamiliar technology, an experience that many found difficult to cope with, but which was, for many living in lockdown, the only way to ensure any kind of education could carry on. Adding to that, aging infrastructure, the lack of proper pedagogical training for a digital classroom were among the many problems that continued to hinder learning and progress.
Anna Lejerskar, President of the Learn for Life Foundation recognized the need to provide immediate solutions amid the crisis.
“The Learn for Life Foundation has a single mission to ensure that no student gets left behind,” she shared. “While we have predominantly been focused on disadvantaged communities on the African continent over the last decade, we could no longer ignore the global consequences of the pandemic on any student’s learning and well-being.”
In response, the Learn For Life Foundation mobilized a series of grant packages under the EON Reality Grant Guarantee Program designed to get classrooms worldwide back on their feet. The packages include heavily subsidized access to EON-XR academic solutions, digital pedagogy training for teachers, and an essential toolkit for lesson creation.
The initiative was well timed.
More than 500 institutions across the world responded to the call, with just about 700,000 licenses delivered to students by the end of 2021.
Professor Daniel David, Rector of the largest University in Romania, Babeș-Bolyai University and Grant Guarantee Program recipient, said, “The Grant Guarantee Program is changing the way we organize teaching in the University and creating new innovations to impact the community and society.”
As the community of learners adapt to the new normal and steer towards the future-proof classroom, the Learn for Life Foundation is now transitioning its focus back to its original mission and will be ceasing the Grant Guarantee Program from April 30th 2022.
“The last two years have been an enormous lesson in learning to adapt, pivot and provide,” Lejerskar concludes. “We are glad to be able to help about 700,000 students and teachers back to their classrooms and do our part to prevent a lost generation of potential.”