LearnIn is a digital learning initiative that supports both learners and teachers in their lifelong learning. LearnIn was launched by UNICEF's Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) in April 2020 and was originally conceived as a response to a regional learning crisis that has already affected millions of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable.
Even before COVID-19, 11 million children and young people in this region of the world were not in school, and only half of all 15-year-olds achieved international benchmarks for basic skills in mathematics, reading and science. Marginalized children (children with disabilities or living in poverty, Roma, ethnic minorities) are often completely cut off from education because they lack accessible, essential services and support they need to participate. The COVID 19 pandemic has only exacerbated the already huge challenges.
LearnIn has responded very quickly to help build the foundations to ensure continuity of education and maximize student learning. Within the first two months LearnIn has developed a multidisciplinary Regional Task Force ITA is a member of this regional task force and contributes its expertise in the fields of designing accessible and inclusive learning environments and content as well as of the creation of communities of practice.
The Regional Task Force developed resources, tools and training for teachers in Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo (UNSCR 1244), Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Romania. These were provided by national task forces of the target group, which support the implementation and sustainability of LearnIn at local level. With the pedagogical workshops and related training, more than 150 national teacher trainers in the participating countries have already been reached within a short period of time.
LearnIn supports countries in building capacity for teachers at the national level so that they are able to support the most marginalised children in their communities. The LearnIn approach includes a special focus on teacher training in support of children with disabilities and an "ecosystem" approach to addressing the root causes - many of which are outside the education sector - of the problems faced by minority groups such as Roma communities.