Malaysian platform engages over 1.7 million secondary school learners during lockdown
Future Skills for All and Global Citizen Education help attract more learners to DELIMa platform amid school closures
In Malaysia, with the COVID-19 lockdown and school closures disrupting learning for 5 million students, UNICEF formed a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education via its Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia (DELIMa). This approach is aligned with its GenU strategic priority of strengthening formal and non-formal pathways to access online and offline learning and 21st century skill-building (Malaysia's two others are (ii) increasing opportunities for young people’s civic engagement to enable meaningful and inclusive participation; and (iii) fostering inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems by breaking down barriers to financing for youth, particularly young women, and creating pathways for scale-up). This online teaching and learning platform has kept over 4 million children and young people learning during school closures, including 1.7 million learners in secondary school and supports the country’s approach of blending face-to-face and online learning.
DELIMa includes two programmes that aim to strengthen alternative learning pathways and skills development for marginalized groups of children and young people. First, the Future Skills for All (FS4A) aims to strengthen provision of, and reduce inequalities in, digital skills development. This joint project is delivered by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Digi and Arus, highlighting the importance of multi-sector partnership to ensure quality skilling opportunities. FS4A has contributed to continuity of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 32,500 unique users and more than 740,000 page views.
Recognizing the need to engage learners through various platforms, FS4A content was extended to the Guru Future Skills TikTok channel, where videos are co-created with children. The channel has attracted almost 14,600 followers and over 2.7 million views of the videos posted. Malaysia Federation of the Deaf is carrying out co-creation workshops with teachers and students to make FS4A learning materials even more accessible for children with disabilities by including sign language interpretation. Plans are also under way to redesign offline kits for marginalized children who lack access to digital devices and/or online learning.
The second programme, Global Citizenship Education (GCED), is aligned to the national curriculum and seeks to strengthen twenty-first century skills and imbue a growth mindset. The GCED module, a form of civic learning, was launched on the DELIMa platform in April 2021. It aims to empower learners to engage and assume active civic roles both locally and globally; to face and resolve global challenges; and to become proactive contributors to a world that is more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable.
The module lets students and teachers access lessons based on GCED projects in four areas: mathematics, science, history and geography. Students explore important concepts from each subject through real-life issues like climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, access to quality education, and gender equality. Since its April launch, the GCED module has reached over 80,000 users with the project-based lessons.
Together with partners, UNICEF is engaging with the Ministry of Education and Malaysian Prison Department on a pilot to extend DELIMa to 500–800 children and young people in detention. Its main focus is innovative approaches related to micro-credentials and future skills development.