The lockdown has been difficult for most people, as the world adapts to the strict measures necessary to combat COVID-19. For children, the challenge is a big one as they find themselves suddenly unable to learn in the appropriate settings, or to run around outside with their friends. This situation becomes even more problematic when children are in particularly vulnerable circumstances, in need of humanitarian assistance and with few outlets to help them deal with the reality.
Several hundred children in Lebanon were pleasantly surprised this month when they discovered The Zorbs, the colourful alien characters helping young generations understand the values which help keep the world safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has affected billions around the world and impacted all aspects of life and society. In the area of education, nearly 165 countries have implemented country-wide school and university closures, as indicated by the Secretary-General in his report 'Shared responsibility, global solidarity: responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 .' More than 1.5 billion children and youth are currently out of school or university, representing 87 per cent of the world's enrolled student population. In addition, over 60 million teachers are no longer in the classroom.
Responding to the global crisis, UNODC has launched the 'Lockdown Learners' series of online dialogues with students and educators in India on COVID-19 and its impact on SDGs, peace and the rule of law.
Judging from current trending subjects on social media platforms as the spread of COVID-19 forces schools to shut around the globe, parents of young children have felt a surge of renewed appreciation for educators. After suddenly becoming de facto teachers themselves, most are trying to follow an approximate schedule and a flexible curriculum, but improvisation is also needed to fill the long days with the right balance between formal learning and fun. The expertise of respected specialists has helped make this unique experience more palatable for both children and parents - especially those who must do their job from home as well. With a wide variety of educational and smart edutainment resources available today, parents are heeding the advice of pedagogists on teaching children through diverse forms by using several ways to drive home a lesson.
When Belen and her brother Tiago excitedly unwrapped the fancy drone they had ordered, they never imagined they were about to learn that life in the beautiful island of San Servolo was not quite what it seemed. A cry for help, hidden in the packaging, would set them on a brave quest to understand and confront the ravages of human trafficking and migrant smuggling affecting their society, unbeknownst to anyone. They decide to take matters into their own hands, setting in motion a sequence of events that would change life as they knew it in a country which believed it had already eradicated crime. So begins the immensely engaging comic book series San Servolo, enticing teenagers around the world to think about big issues they had never considered before, and to reassess their understanding of - and their role in - just and peaceful societies.
The fast spread of the corona virus around the world has already changed much in the way we lead our daily lives, leading both the public and the private sector to look for working solutions to handle this new situation. With social distancing having become a necessity, the education sector was one of the first forced to take action and to adapt current material, testing options for online teaching.
Relying on trusted sources for information and reassurance becomes essential in times of uncertainty; as society seeks guidance, it turns to the experts in their various fields who have a proven record of reliability. This of course includes the United Nations family, which has always worked with a long-term vision to achieve its numerous goals for the benefit of all.