Stichting War Child (War Child Holland)

Can’t Wait to Learn Highly Ranked

Lead Organization

Stichting War Child (War Child Holland)

Amsterdam, Provincie Noord-Holland, Netherlands

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Education is an inaccessible right for millions of children worldwide who are living in war-zones or affected by conflict. And yet as the building blocks of learning and self-development, literacy and numeracy acquisition are the key to unlocking these children’s potential and changing their future. Can’t Wait to Learn – a custom-made educative gaming technology solution - has been developed through years of testing and research. Findings to date show that Can’t Wait to Learn works; children learn, and they learn fast. We designed it to tackle the specific challenges that children in different conflict settings experience: from the game design, which is co-created by children to be culturally, contextually and curricula appropriate, to hardware designed for use in low-resource and harsh environments. The model demonstrates improved and faster learning outcomes and psychosocial benefits at a lower cost than other approaches and can offer a brighter future for millions of children.

Problem Statement

One in four of the world’s school-aged children now live in countries affected by crisis. Of these, an estimated 32 million children aged 6 -12 years, living in 35 crisis-affected countries, are in desperate need of educational support. Over half of the world’s refugees are children; 3.7 million refugee children are not receiving an education at all and refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school. Globally this lack of access to quality education is fueling poverty, unemployment, under-age marriage and instability. However, funding for Education in Emergencies (EiE) is less than 3% of all humanitarian aid. Educational systems designed to function during relative peace are ill-equipped to handle crises. The most vulnerable children are disproportionately excluded from schooling. Classrooms are inaccessible or dangerous, and where schooling is accessible it often lacks quality; teachers are under-qualified or absent and government education budgets are insufficient. Previous attempts to solve the problem defaulted to traditional measures like building schools and training teachers; this requires time, which children living in conflict cannot afford, and stability, which cannot be guaranteed. We know that education is the starting point on the journey to a better life, especially for the poor and the most vulnerable. Conflict-affected children need flexible learning opportunities, which allow them to catch up on basic literacy and numeracy skills and (re)enter formal education.

Solution Overview

Can’t Wait to Learn is a custom-made educative gaming technology solution designed to tackle the specific challenges that children in different conflict settings experience. It is evidence-led, curriculum-based and contextually specific, promotes active learning, and adapts to different learning levels. A set of offline self-paced serious gaming applications accessed on tablets that takes children through Government-approved curriculum, Can’t Wait to Learn provides the opportunity to work toward primary level certification, with the aim of decreasing drop-out rates and encouraging transition into formal primary and secondary education. What makes Can’t Wait to Learn unique? Our co-creation process with targeted children culminates in the development of locally contextualized game content, including the design, characters, storyline and curriculum. Can’t Wait to Learn offers a game world that reflects children’s reality, which lowers the threshold for them to engage, particularly if new to technology. Our partnerships with MoEs, UN agencies, (I)NGOs and technical specialists already provides us the reach and competency to operate successfully in Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Uganda and Chad. Leveraging 100&Change, we will rapidly expand in these contexts and further scale to offer quality education to children in Burkino Faso, Nigeria and South Sudan. We will amplify reach by providing our quality-assured content and design approach through global open access platforms. Taken to scale Can’t Wait to Learn has the potential to be widely adopted as a model to support children living in conflict and/or with limited access to education anywhere in the world.

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Project Funders

  • Nationale Postcode Lotterij 2016 - 2023
  • IKEA Foundation 2016 - 2019
  • 2017 - 2019

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