The transition from a classroom system to a remote modality due to the context of COVID-19 has been a challenge for the educational system and all stakeholders. Cluster partners warn that the closure of schools due to COVID-19 has increased the risks of domestic and gender-based violence for children and adolescents, as well as the impact on mental health and psychosocial support needs. The conditions for educational continuity during the preventive closure of schools are adverse, including reduced access to connectivity, limited technological availability and instability of electricity service. These circumstances affect the most vulnerable children and adolescents with greater impact, such as those with disabilities, indigenous populations, and those in hospital situations.
In July, with the aim of improving the conditions for learning and educational continuity for children and adolescents in schools, the distribution of educational materials at the household level continued, reaching a total of 20,851 children and adolescents (49 per cent girls and 51 per cent boys), especially in the Capital District and Zulia. 40,432 children and adolescents (51 per cent girls and 49 per cent boys) also benefited from distributions of dry food or from school feeding programs at the household level, reaching mainly children from Bolívar and Zulia. A total of 3,274 adolescents and youth (46 per cent girls and 54 per cent boys) participated in initiatives aiming at promoting educational leveling, life skills and technical training in remote formats, especially in Zulia. 69,406 children and adolescents participated in psycho-educational support activities online, by telephone or through home visits (53 per cent girls and 47 per cent boys) in Miranda and Táchira. Some 2,921 teachers (80 per cent women and 20 per cent men) were trained virtually on emergency education approaches in the state of Miranda. Within the framework of the response to COVID-19, distance education activities were incorporated through multiplatform resources (television, radio, online, print) for children and adolescents affected by the closure of schools. During this period, 8,494 students were reached, mainly in Miranda and Zulia.
Low international funding for the sector aggravates the situation and puts the sustainability of actions at risk. This is especially critical for local and community organizations that receive less support. For example, in relation to initiatives for educational reintegration of children and adolescents out of school, the gap is 97 per cent; in the distribution of school supply kits the gap is 85 percent and in school feeding the gap that remains to be covered is 67 per cent. Despite efforts by national authorities and the support of the Cluster in esnuring availability of multi-platform distance learning, access is different between states, which is deepened by the lack of international financing for sustainable sources of internet access, improvement of electricity service and technological investment in remote communities. Support towards the educational sector for the reception and inclusion of returned populations is also under-financed.