Iraq

1001 Nights series launched by the Ministry of Education and supported by UNICEF to provide alternative learning solutions reaches over 20,000,000 views on Facebook [EN/AR]

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Supported by UNICEF, the Ministry of Education launched the 1001 nights series on education for TV and online platforms in Iraq

Baghdad, 26 July 2021 - In Iraq, over 10 million children could not access their education due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In response, UNICEF and its partners in Iraq continue its efforts to provide alternative learning platforms and support education initiatives for the most vulnerable children in Iraq.

UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Iraq have partnered Big Bad Boo Productions, through the Inc.’s 1001 Nights Life Skills and Civic Education Program (the 1001 Nights Program), which uses cartoons, discussions and activities to teach children life skills and build shared values and friendship and provide emotional well-being support throughout Iraq.

In order to ensure children and families are able to access the program at home, Big Bad Boo also launched an online campaign on Facebook, which 93% of the viewers responded they either “like” or “love” the program.

As of June 2021, the total views across all episodes of the 1001 Nights Program on Facebook in its first three months is 20.6 million - 11.8M views in the Arabic version and 8.8M in the Kurdish version.

The program includes at-home, in-school and blended models so that children can also continue their learning during school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This multi-platform (TV, radio, internet and printed media) program is designed to teach children civic values, critical thinking and various life skills.

The partnership will implement the 1001 Nights Program and will reach over 50,000 children (20,000 internally displaced, returnees and Syrian refugee children, as well as 30,000 children in regular schools).

A total of 1,667 teachers and facilitators will be given student guidance materials, which parents can also use to engage with their children for successful distance-based learning. “1001 Nights is a prime example of how high-quality digital content can bring to life learning and psycho-social development for children facing some of life’s most daunting situations” says Rory Robertshaw, Chief of Education for UNICEF in Iraq.

“Partnerships such as this one are essential in providing much needed support for children in Iraq who have missed out on their learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic” says Sheema Sen Gupta,
UNICEF Representative in Iraq. “Business as usual is not enough as we respond to this pandemic.
Innovation has the power to achieve and elevate our ambitions for education and all that education promises” she explained.