Social media giant Facebook on Monday said it has launched an online resource guide on how to collaborate and continue the learning process using Facebook products, tools and programs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Titled 'Supporting Education Communities: An Online Learning Resources Guide', the online resource will guide education communities on how to collaborate and continue the learning process using Facebook products, tools and programs like Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Facebook Live, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, a statement said.

The guide, which will also provide information related to COVID-19 from authentic sources, is currently available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada, it added.

In its first phase, Facebook has partnered with UNESCO who will support in ensuring the guide reaches learners, educational institutions and teachers across India besides supporting with the updation and curation of the guide with relevant learning resources, the statement said.

"In these difficult times, it is even more important for people to stay connected and have access to credible information about COVID-19. Through our online learning resource guide, we want to equip teachers, parents and relevant government officials with ample resources and tools to help them stay connected and collaborate digitally to facilitate remote learning," Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships at Facebook India, said.

Eric Falt, director and UNESCO representative, UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka said the COVID-19 outbreak has caused not only a health crisis but also a learning crisis.

"More than 90 per cent of the world's learners are affected by the school and university closures. In line with the global efforts, UNESCO New Delhi will focus on mobilising the national and state-level actors and resources in order to develop an effective and unified response avoiding overlaps for maximum impact," Falt said.

Further, the on-ground needs will be matched with context-appropriate solutions to provide education remotely, leveraging hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech approaches with a special focus on ensuring access for women learners, he said.

"Technology will be the key enabler for all such efforts. The partnership between UNESCO New Delhi and Facebook will therefore play an important role in providing an online platform for all stakeholders to come together and act in tandem to end the learning disruption," Falt added.

Facebook had also launched the Coronavirus Information Centre last week that provides the latest news and updates from MyGov Corona Hub, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and global health organisations, as well as helpful content about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. PTI SR

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