X Close

Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), IOE


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 #028 – RELIEF Centre

CEID Blogger16 June 2020

Teaching Online: Be Ready Now!

by Future Education Team  at the RELIEF Centre

COVID-19 has meant teachers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, like other teachers around the world, had to move their teaching online with little support or preparation. The Future Education team of The Economic and Social Research Council  (ESRC) RELIEF Centre responded to various requests from teachers and educationalists in Lebanon by rapidly co-designing a Massive Open Online Collaboration (MOOC) to support teachers in different sectors, with a focus on teachers who work in contexts of mass displacement in Lebanon. The MOOC, entitled Teaching Online: Be Ready Now!,  gives teachers the tools and knowledge to design their teaching-learning process online. This two-week MOOC was co-designed and co-developed by the Future Education team and academics and students from the Lebanese University (LU), Lebanon’s only public university. The Director of CERD, the Lebanese Centre for Educational Research and Development, which is the government body responsible for Teacher Professional Development, provided a video for the MOOC to show support, and the MOOC has been added to the Jordan government’s site for recommended online Teacher Professional Development (TPD) courses.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #027 – Walker

CEID Blogger15 June 2020

COVID-19 and the stubbornness of ‘race’

By Sharon Walker

Over the past two to three months, the UK public has consumed a vast number of public awareness campaigns streamed through our televisions and other devices aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus. These campaigns have an educative role and are often creative and entertaining despite their serious message. During this period, I have also yearned for another kind of educational intervention aimed at the general population to engage with the re-occurrence of the word ‘race’ in the national press and other news outlets. The intervention would involve tackling the unavoidable reinforcement of the idea that humans belong to different racial groups. However, what would a response of this nature resemble? And who would be involved – geneticists, historians, philosophers of race, etc.? Let me explain.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #026 – Ezegwu

CEID Blogger12 June 2020

Almajri and the Eluding Hope of Accessing Basic Education in Nigeria during COVID-19

By Chidi Ezegwu

In many Nigerian cities, especially in the northern parts of the country, often dirty and shabbily dressed boys roam the streets with plastic bowls begging for alms. They are the almajiri (almajirai in plural), who are traditionally seen as itinerant religious school pupils that are attending various Qur’anic, Islamiyya, and Tsangaya Islamic schools. The term ‘almajiri’ is a local Hausa term that refers to knowledge seekers, especially those that travel from place to place in search of Islamic religious knowledge. While they are traditionally considered learners, they are not formally recognized as pupils by Nigeria’s formal education system. Instead, they are categorized as out-of-school children and largely discussed as street children or as trafficked children. A child destitution bill to the Nigerian National Assembly includes almajiri among the destitute. Although differently defined, one thing is certain: the practice contributes to sustaining the county’s status of having the worst access to education in the world. According to Save the Children, Nigeria has about 13.2 million school-age children that are not in school, constituting the largest population of out-of-school children in the world, of which 12.6 million (95%) are in the northern part of the country.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #025 – Mithun

CEID Blogger4 June 2020

Does Distance learning aggravate inequality in education and beyond? Education in Afghanistan in the time of COVID-19

By Syeda Nazneen Jahan Mithun

The COVID-19 pandemic struck war-ravaged Afghanistan at a moment when the long desired dream of ‘peace’ seemed conceivable to its inhabitants. While dealing with prolonged and continued war has become part of daily life for people in Afghanistan, the pandemic has rapidly exacerbated the level of misery experienced. Nonetheless, as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Afghanistan announced an alternative learning plan for sustaining education while learners remained at home. While such rapid response should be applauded, it does raise questions about the potential of distance learning to escalate pre-existing inequalities in education among different social strata and how best to avoid this.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #024 – Shahzadeh & Newlands

CEID Blogger3 June 2020

Distance Learning for Refugees During COVID-19 and Beyond: Experiences from Paper Airplanes

By Yasmeen Shahzadeh & Mhairi Newlands

Distance learning has emerged as an essential education intervention in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of students around the world whose education has been interrupted due to school closures and lockdowns have resumed learning online, facilitated by teachers, via videos, or other e-learning methods. As the crisis continues to develop and unfold around the world, it is important to recognize the privilege of being able to access and benefit from remote learning in the first place. For nearly 61 million refugees and countless internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the 17 million refugees in the Middle East alone, access to education has always been a challenge. Recently, COVID-19 quarantines and security measures have interrupted learning for refugees who have already had difficulties accessing education due to conflict and migration.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #023 – Edwards

CEID Blogger2 June 2020

When will the Bank learn that the necessary foundation to build back better education systems post-pandemic is social dialogue?

By David Edwards

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a convergence of crises in education due to both lengthy school closures and a looming economic depression. But as schools gradually re-open, many actors in the global education community are working to turn crisis into opportunity by fundamentally improving education systems.

The World Bank is one of many organisations currently publishing recommendations on this subject. However, the Bank’s advice is likely to be particularly influential at a time when many governments – especially in lower-income countries – are struggling to repay debts and in need of loans, and therefore warrants close attention.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #022 – Sakata

CEID Blogger27 May 2020

Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Higher Education Sector in Japan in the time of COVID-19

By Nozomi Sakata

Like in many other countries, the current pandemic has forced universities and colleges in Japan to shut down their buildings. This is likely to continue for the coming months. Lectures and seminars have been postponed or moved online. Students cannot make use of libraries and other facilities. Outside the campus, restaurants and private supplementary schools – two of the most popular workplaces for university students – have closed or suspended their businesses. Taking out a loan is relatively uncommon in Japan, so most students cover their fees and living expenses with part-time jobs and remittances from their parents, whose income has also dropped. Consequently, some students are falling into poverty, making 1 in 13 consider giving up their study completely.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #021 – Prendergast

CEID Blogger21 May 2020

Improving access to specialized subjects: Equity Education’s online approach

By Stuart Prendergast

Access to education is a Human Right according to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is as it should be. But is the universal right to education achievable, especially during a pandemic?

Imagine that you are a child living through this pandemic. You would normally be at school but not any longer. On one day, your home assignment is to read the chapter in your chemistry textbook on atomic structure and answer questions 1 to 15 on page 12. You can’t find your textbook or a quiet place to study, since your parents are working from home and you share a room with your brother. Eventually you find the book, but you don’t understand some of the questions. You ask mom and dad for some help. However, they also don’t understand the questions on ionization energy. You’re left frustrated and overwhelmed, compounding the anxiety of living under lockdown.

This is the reality for many children around the world today.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #020 – Warwick

CEID Blogger20 May 2020

Education, health literacy and COVID-19

By Ian Warwick

There have been a range of country responses to COVID-19, not only with regard to the treatment and care of people living with and affected by the disease, but also in attempts to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

While there has already been some degree of success in interrupting human-to-human transmission of the virus, as well as in treating and caring for those with COVID-19, global responses have been uneven. For example, and notwithstanding the challenges of making country comparisons, it appears that actions in some contexts have shown promise in limiting transmission (for example, in China, Hong Kong and South Korea), while in other contextsthere has been less success (such as the USA and, as looks increasingly likely with regard to excess deaths, Spain and the UK).


Education in the Time of COVID-19 #019 – Unterhalter

CEID Blogger19 May 2020

Whose tomorrow? Six ideas for education in a different world

By Elaine Unterhalter

Whose tomorrow is tomorrow?

And whose world is the world?

Bertolt Brecht, Solidarity Song (1929)

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is political advice attributed to former Barack Obama aide, Rahm Emanuel, riffing off the economist Paul Romer. Many commentators  on coronavirus remark the epidemic combines a health crisis, an economic crisis and an environmental crisis, but do not comment on the associated education crisis. Some elements of the education  effects of the pandemic give glimpses of facets of the crisis, associated with the large numbers of children out of school,  the  consequences of them not getting food, the breaks in social networks, and disparities in access to the technologies providing most learning and teaching at the moment. These effects deepen inequalities.

But, has there ever been a ‘good’ crisis in education? And if so, what use could we make of the COVID-19 crisis?