Speakers:: Alison Buckler, Claire Hedges, Tom Power
Title: Supporting children’s learning during emergency school closures: a case study of a community education programme in Zimbabwe
Abstract: During the global Covid-19 pandemic, governments instructed schools around the world to close their doors to learners. Record numbers of children found themselves to be ‘out of school’. It is predicted that a prolonged absence from school will be devastating for millions of children’s futures, yet questions about when or how to re-open schools, particularly in poor contexts, are highly complex. While the past year has seen wide-scale adoption of online learning, an equitable response to the pandemic must realise that most children in the poorest countries are offline. How then can technology be used creatively to support the learning of these children? In this seminar we showcase some key findings from the recently completed CHILD (Community Help for Inclusive Learning and Development) study carried out by OU researchers in collaboration with colleagues from World Vision Zimbabwe. The research focuses on the experiences of Community Learning Champions who have been delivering digital education materials in a Covid-safe way to children in remote communities across Zimbabwe. In this seminar we will share these experiences and propose some recommendations and considerations for mobilising community volunteers to support children’s learning during emergency school closures.
Report can be accessed here