CALRG talk: OU leading community education in Zimbabwe

​​​On Thursday 11 February, Tom Power and Dr Alison Buckler presented a CALRG session how community champions in remote communities in Zimbabwe are providing digital learning resources to learners.

“The community came to me and said ‘Mrs Dumisilele, should we let these children fail because of COVID? Are we saying this is the end of everything because of COVID?’. That is when I started to negotiate with them. I said ‘OK, if you are willing to let your children come to my house, I will teach them’” (Community Learning Champion)

Presenting alongside project members Claire Hedges, and Dr Margaret Ebubedike, research conducted by WELS, and project partners World Vision Zimbabwe, has explored the complexities of learning being remote for many children in low-income countries who are offline.

Record numbers of children worldwide have been required to not go to school. It has been predicted that a prolonged absence from school will be devastating for millions of children’s futures. However, questions about when or how to re-open schools, particularly in poor contexts, are highly complex.

OU researchers have explored how technology can be used as a creative solution to support the learning of children in these contexts. This CALRG session will share key findings from the CHILD (Community Help for Inclusive Learning and Development) study, carried out in collaboration with colleagues from World Vision Zimbabwe.

The seminar will also share these experiences of Community Learning Champions who have been delivering education materials, as well as propose recommendations for mobilising community volunteers to support children’s learning during emergency school closures.

Discussing the findings which will be shared in the session, Dr Alison Buckler stated:

“Sporadic disruptions and unpredictable and uneven returns to school are likely to be features of education for millions of children for the foreseeable future. Exploring how community education champions can be mobilised and supported is crucial to understanding more about the diverse and creative ways children’s learning can be maintained”.

Read the project report here

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