Field Note: Preparing Children for an Unpredictable World in the Middle of a Crisis: La Aldea’s Approach

No one was prepared when COVID-19 hit. While education systems all over the world turned to distance learning, countries like Colombia faced a significant challenge: only 75 percent of Colombian teachers had received training in online teaching, 64 percent of school principals considered the technology available to schools to be insufficient, and only 67 percent of 15-year-old students had internet access (OECD 2019). And what about the families living in at-risk contexts and facing additional economic and health pressures? The time was ripe to scale up La Aldea—a flexible, learner-centered strategy whose content and methods are designed to meet the needs of the child at the end of the proverbial “last mile.” La Aldea is a strategy created by ClickArte, a Colombian organization that specializes in designing and implementing educational projects. Using its print books, radio shows, digital content, songs, and games, La Aldea was disseminated throughout the country via UNICEF Colombia’s education in emergencies strategy. It also provided online training sessions to 4,220 teachers. It ultimately reached 87,667 families and children. This immediate, comprehensive, multimedia, multistakeholder plan was adapted to reach every child in Colombia’s formal and nonformal education settings in migrant and conflict-affected communities. La Aldea education strategy is composed of carefully crafted stories whose main characters are animals found in Colombia (such as macaws, tapirs, owls, anteaters, among others). The stories and activities that make up La Aldea are metaphors of society: children, families, and teachers can self-identify with the situations being portrayed, hence giving schools material to integrate playfully into the teaching curricula, while at the same time nudging children’s cognitive, citizenship, and social-emotional skills—and, of course, COVID-19 awareness.


Informação sobre o Recurso

Tipo de Recurso

Journal Article


Publicado por

Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE)

Criado por

Ana María Restrepo-Sáenz and Emmanuel Neisa Chateauneuf


Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Distance Education
Technology and Innovation

Zona geográfica de enfoque