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Global Programme Initiatives - Can't Wait to Learn

  • Total child participants: 1,439

Education is a fundamental human right. Yet more than 30 million boys and girls from the ages of six to 12 living in 35 conflict-affected countries are denied this right. These children are a lost generation growing up without opportunities to learn. The education in emergencies sector works to address the needs of these children - but the sector is desperately underfunded and struggles to provide quality learning.

War Child Holland and its partners in the Can’t Wait to Learn coalition have come together to create a fundamental change in the way education is delivered to conflict-affected children. Can’t Wait to Learn utilises proven curriculum-based interventions that use gaming technology to allow children to learn - wherever they live. This method benefits both children in areas without schools or teachers and those in schools struggling to cope with increased refugee student numbers.

Can’t Wait to Learn proposes new solutions to the urgent challenges present in delivering education to children in emergency settings. By utilising innovative technological solutions with a focus on serious gaming, Can’t Wait to Learn builds on concepts that have been successfully piloted in Sudan.

The programme is currently running in Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan. In 2017 preparatory work also began to roll the programme out in Uganda, with a particular focus on the education needs of South Sudanese refugees. By 2020 we intend to reach as many as 170,000 children from the ages of six to 12 in three to five regions affected by conflict.

Can’t Wait to Learn uses content endorsed by the Ministry of Education in each country where we work. The programme sees children learn by playing educational games on tablet computers - which provide children with access to mathematics and reading learning modules as well as vital psychosocial support.

Programme delivery, including hardware and connectivity, is adapted to each specific local context - from Sudanese villages to Jordanian refugee camps. Can’t Wait to Learn is designed to be accessible both online and offline and contains integrated management systems to aggregate children’s progress at individual, group and national levels. Training of facilitators and teachers participating in the programme is specifically tailored to encourage take up of the methods we use.

Core to the Can’t Wait to Learn approach is the recognition that sustainable interventions in the education in emergencies sector must aim to facilitate a transition to formal schooling wherever possible. The active and continuous engagement of both local Ministries of Education and key stakeholders such as UNICEF and UNHCR is fundamental to expanding the reach of the programme.

2017 saw Google.org and the CISCO Foundation join existing donors such as the IKEA Foundation, the Dutch National Postcode Lottery and the Humanitarian Education Accelerator. Other supporters and partners include TNO, Butterfly Works and international and national NGOs.