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Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), UCL Institute of Education


A forum for staff, students, alumni and guests to write about and around CEID's five thematic areas of engagement.


Archive for the 'Covid Blog' Category

Education in the Time of COVID-19 #044 – Parkes & Datzberger

CEID Blogger20 October 2020

Uganda: lockdown brought increased inequality and violence for young people

By Jenny Parkes and Simone Datzberger

Young people the world all over have been deeply affected by lockdown measures due to COVID-19. Our new study on Young people, inequality and violence during the COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda offers insights from young people on how and why the pandemic may be amplifying inequalities, thereby creating the conditions for multiple forms of violence.

In March 2020, the Ugandan government introduced stringent lockdown measures – closing schools and businesses, banning public gatherings, restricting travel, and introducing a night-time curfew. Against this backdrop we wanted to learn from young people first-hand how response measures during the early stages of the pandemic have affected their lives. Thanks to strong local partnerships and a well-established collaboration with Ugandan researchers, we were able to conduct phone interviews from May-June 2020 with 18 girls and 16 boys (aged 16-19 years) at a time when lockdown measures were still in place. All of our interviewees are participants in  longitudinal research (2017-2022) for the Contexts of Violence in Adolescence Cohort study (CoVAC). This allowed us to relate findings from our phone interviews to their biographical narratives recounted to our researchers over the past two years.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #043 – Datzberger, et al.

CEID Blogger14 October 2020

Field Research during COVID-19

By Simone Datzberger, Jenny Parkes, Marie Lall, Kusha Anand, Mai Abu Moghli, Tejendra Pherali & Laila Kadiwal

Central to our research in the field of Education and International Development are international collaborations, global and local partnerships and knowledge exchange across borders and continents. COVID-19 has had not only profound impacts on education but also on how we continue with our research and data collection in diverse settings and contexts. Researchers are no longer able to meet face-to-face, are required to follow strict rules, and new ethics protocols and procedures have had to be developed to ensure safety for all. In short, data collection has been severely impacted by the pandemic. While some projects have been put on hold, or data collection postponed, others have managed to continue with their work and find new and creative solutions to adapt their projects and means of data collection to a new Covid-19 reality. Below we share our experiences.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #042 – Bella

CEID Blogger9 October 2020

Increased inequalities during COVID-19 hampers progress towards inclusive gender equality

By Nicole Bella

The recently released Global Education Monitoring Report’s 2020 Gender Report provides us with a glimmer of hope on the front of gender equality in education. There has been a generational leap in girls’ education since 1995, a clear indication of countries’ commitment to advance gender equality in education. But, the 2020 Gender Report also clearly shows that much remains to be done to make it more inclusive. The move towards gender equality has been uneven with the most marginalized girls and boys being left behind. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic still underway risks deepening existing inequalities.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #041 – Souto, De Grauwe & Gagnon

CEID Blogger5 October 2020

Managing basic education in the aftermath of COVID-19: On education market dynamics and challenges to quality assurance systems

By Marcelo Souto Simão, Anton De Grauwe, and Amélie A. Gagnon

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced authorities worldwide to reevaluate the future of one of the most established social structures: formal school-based education. School closures imposed during confinement suddenly threw family life into disarray, with children at home while adults were either trying to telework or worrying about their income and job security. Distance learning, through a range of technological and non-technological means, enabled learning continuity during school closures – at least in some contexts and for some groups. Elsewhere, however, the inability of schools to adapt their services to the situation resulted in a complete halt of instructional activities. Some private schools fired teachers; others even closed down permanently as a response to families’ refusal or incapacity to pay school fees during lockdown. Now, the sanitary measures that are allowing schools to reopen also entail substantial changes to the daily organization of school and family routines. All this has led to questions about the long-term response of education systems to this crisis. In the face of prolonged periods of partial or total school closure, concerns have also been raised about how to catch up with learning losses and secure educational equity.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #040 – Liu

CEID Blogger2 October 2020

Classes Suspended but Learning Continues: Experiences and Challenges of a Rural School in China

By Jing Liu

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about an unprecedented global public health crisis at the beginning of 2020. According to the United Nations, there were 1.58 billion children and youth, from pre-school to universities, who were affected by the pandemic by mid-April 2020. Moreover, the school closures have badly affected the schooling and wellbeing of students, particularly those from socially disadvantaged groups. This blog post aims to show how a rural school, which I’ll call Jiayuan, and the community took action to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 on children. The details of their experiences and practices were collected through information exchange and online interviews with the school leader and teachers whom the author has been working with on research project since 2018. (more…)

Education in the time of COVID-19 Webinar

CEID Blogger25 September 2020

On September 25, 2020, CEID hosted a webinar entitled Education in the time of COVID-19. CEID asked a diverse group of educators a simple question: What are the main challenges you see facing education in a time of COVID-19?

Speakers wrote initial reflections for the CEID Blog (see links below) and then made short interventions during the webinar. The speakers included:

  1. Raewyn Connell – Professor Emerita, University of Sydney
  2. Nutsa Kobakhidze – Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong
  3. David Edwards – General Secretary, Education International
  4. Melanie Walker – Professor, University of the Free State (South Africa)
  5. Ruth Oparebea Manu – Project Manager, Educational Development Projects Trust

Over 390 people from around the world joined the webinar. A recording of the event can be watched below:


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #039 – Moss

CEID Blogger2 September 2020

Education in the Time of COVID-19 – Rebuild, Reconnect, Reimagine

By Gemma Moss

The academic commentary on the COVID-19 crisis and its impacts on education seems divided between those who hope and those who despair.  The hope is that fragilities in the ways that education systems currently work and the inequalities they entrench, made visible during the pandemic, can now be fixed.  Despair suggests that things will only get worse – that the beneficiaries of the crisis will be the same, largely corporate, interests already running things in the wrong way.  The restatement of all that is structurally wrong in education by those speaking from the latter position in many respects demonstrates a crisis of optimism on the left, as Elaine Unterhalter pointed out in her blog in this series, Whose tomorrow? Six ideas for education in a different world.  This blog follows Unterhalter’s contribution in suggesting resilient optimism is precisely what we need right now. And that the case to be made for optimism at a point of crisis depends upon where, and at what, researchers choose to look.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #038 – Eringfeld

CEID Blogger9 July 2020

Podcasting during a Pandemic: How can we Reimagine the Future of the ‘Post-Covid’ University?

By Simone Eringfeld

This article reflects on conversations about the future of the ‘post-coronial’ university, hosted by the Cambridge Quaranchats Podcast. Fragments of podcast episodes have been integrated into this article. Double-click on the images to hear the audio. You can listen to the full conversations on any major platform, including SpotifyAnchor and Apple Podcasts.

The past academic year has undeniably been one of large-scale disruptions. Of all the things I had imagined my Education MPhil at Cambridge to be, I certainly hadn’t envisioned picket lines, lockdowns and emergency meetings on racism. Due to this unprecedented collision of crises, combined with cancelled fieldwork and a felt need to document the turbulence of this time, I decided to try something new: I started a podcast. From here, my new thesis project emerged, using podcasting as a research method to ask: how do students and academics at Cambridge’s Faculty of Education reimagine the future of the ‘post-coronial’ University?


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #037 – Connell

CEID Blogger6 July 2020

Reflections on COVID-19 and Education

By Raewyn Connell

Changed situations for learning

The epidemic, and the lockdown responses to it, has shifted the ground for great numbers of students. School closures meant a vast number of families suddenly had to do home-schooling and distance education. University closures have driven students online, even more than they were before. With social distancing, peer groups have been disbanded and many of the opportunities for informal learning have gone.

But there’s also more intimate disturbance. Kids have reason to fear. There’s a very dangerous virus loose in the world; old people have the highest death rates, but some young people die too. Grandparents may have gone into self-isolation; hugs may have stopped. In lockdown there seems to be more domestic violence, more strained relationships.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #036 – Towne

CEID Blogger3 July 2020

Health or Education? Polarised Risks in the United Kingdom

By Alexander Towne

In contrast to many East Asian nations, such as South Korea and Taiwan, the United Kingdom has failed to learn and apply lessons from the SARS and MERS epidemics of recent decades. There have been some inexcusable mistakes made both prior to and throughout this pandemic, ranging from a lack of Personal Protective Equipment reserves to a continued over-reliance on mathematical modelling, for which the government has already been criticised in previous epidemics. The rallying cry of the government seems to be that we are living through unprecedented times. However, the fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was able to speak of the failure to learn lessons in the Commons Liaison Committee shows the entirely predictable nature of our current predicament. Pandemics are a macabre fact of life, and each pandemic will inevitably present different forms and levels of risk to different segments of society. Working through such risks, both at an individual and societal level, involves balancing competing priorities and interests. This in turn creates the imperative for a set of nationally agreed upon ethical principles or values that reflect this balance and in turn inform more nuanced policy decisions.