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UKFIET: Education and COVID-19

By UKFIET: The Education and Development Forum

This is the ninth UKFIET newsletter which focuses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on education across the world. This curated collection once again shows the broad range of issues education experts are grappling with to try and ensure that learning does not stop during the disruption. Innovative solutions are being developed and opportunities are being grasped to reimagine a different and more inclusive education as schools try to re-open. Additional efforts are being made to try and leave no learner behind.

As a reminder, the UKFIET Forum features a selection of blogs related to various issues in international education and development, including COVID-19. If you would like to contribute an article on any topic related to education and development, we encourage you to submit your ideas to us, we are also happy to cross-post articles already published elsewhere.

Cyberbullying in the shadows of online learning during COVID-19: how to support and ensure online safety of students

This shift away from the physical classroom spaces has resulted in an increased reliance on digital platforms for online learning by schools and communities with adequate access to resources. As a result, students are spending more time online using chat services, instant messaging, social media and audio/video enabled calls to attend virtual classes and collaborate with peers for educational purposes. Though these options prove to be alternative means of learning and interaction during this period of uncertainty, children are now more than ever at the risk of experiencing cyberbullying in the perils of online learning. This article provides recommended actions for schools, teachers, parents/ caregivers and support services.

Responding to COVID-19 in Lebanon: Interview with Rima Malek

This is the third in a series of interviews from NISSEM with actors from government and civil society, in order to understand better the practicalities and implications of national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rima Malek has long advocated for accreditation of distance learning courses and programmes in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. Although decisions are currently underway on how and when the university and the public schools will re-open their doors, contingency planning is being discussed for moving fully online or to some combination of virtual and in-person, including how learning will be assessed and how to expand access to reliable, broadband internet in the event of another shutdown in the fall.

A positive outcome in the time of Covid-19 through the use of WhatsApp in Zimbabwe

With the closure of community Learning Hubs in Zimbabwe this has meant a return to the isolation and barriers that have prevented young girls from accessing learning all their lives. To counteract this, the Supporting Adolescent Girls’ Education (SAGE) programme is organising a series of live workshops, using the text facility of WhatsApp to enable Learning Hub volunteers to continue to engage in meaningful learning conversations with their learners at a distance, operating within the current restrictions. These workshops aim to build confidence and capacity amongst the volunteers to enable them to continue supporting their learners at a distance, through mobile phones.

Responding to COVID-19 in the Bahamas: Interview with Marcellus C. Taylor

This is the fourth in a series of interviews from NISSEM. The Bahamas is no stranger to crises. Only six months before the schools were shut down in March, the country had faced tropical storm Dorian. On a more fortunate note, the Department of Education had begun rolling out a virtual learning platform in August 2019, as a way to bring secondary education to the least populated islands. Marcellus C Taylor discusses his country’s experience during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined

This article was written by Safeena Husain from Educate Girls and is adapted from a key note speech at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) held in June 2020. She asserts that we have a huge responsibility the world over to put considerable resources and creativity into how to make up for the disruption to our children – How to offer relief now, plan a supportive and inclusive recovery and then reimagine education. As we reimagine education, we need an intentional gender lens and to invest in and expand on what we know works.

Remote teaching and learning during the COVID-19 disruption: experiences of ministries of education, teachers and teacher educators

Disruptions to schooling are not uncommon. But the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic is exceptional. And education systems have struggled desperately. Remote teaching and learning have become key to the response. But what have been the particular concerns of ministries and teachers in providing these? And what positive indications have emerged during the crisis? Two reports of research carried out by the British Council in April and May this year provide insight into these questions, using information derived from 52 school systems and over 9,600 English language teachers and teacher educators in more than 150 different countries.

Scaling, systems thinking and success: navigating pathways to scale in education

This article summarises the process and outcomes from a write-shop collaboration with Education Development Trust and DFID advisers at the last UKFIET conference. Education policymakers are used to seeing results from small scale pilots. But successful local innovations and interventions, which may have impressive evidence from research trials, do not always translate into results at scale. This is an ongoing frustration for policymakers and, faced with the learning crisis, they are increasingly asking different questions, wondering how to achieve school improvement at scale. This article reflects on insights that emerged from the collaboration.

Responding to COVID-19 in Sierra Leone: Interview with Massey Tucker and Mariana Martinez

This is the fifth in a series of interviews from NISSEM In Sierra Leone, lessons learned from the education sector’s response to Ebola are still fresh. Two specialists from Save the Children and Handicap International talk about their experience.

The following are related blogs which we have cross-posted on request

by Mark Chapple, cross-posted from INEE

by Education Development Trust

by Rammohan Khanapurkar, Ketan Dandare and Shalini Bhorkar, cross-posted from The Quint

by Steve Besley, cross-posted from Oriel Square

by Rebecca Gordon and Pauline Rose, cross-posted from the Developmental Leadership Program

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