On April 29, 2021, the KIX Observatory hosted a webinar where they examined the latest efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on education financing, teacher and learner well-being and school reopening. The participants of the webinar consisted of national, regional and international education system stakeholders.
During the webinar, Shem Bodo, the Senior Program Officer for ADEA, and Maria Mdachi, the Gender Specialist from AU/CIEFFA, gave an overview of the Observatory’s initial findings on the challenges associated with funding education during COVID-19, alongside reflections about the disproportionate impacts these challenges present for young girls. These findings, published in their first report on April 26, 2021, point to the long-term damage that is possible and expected due to inadequate resourcing for education. The report highlights four priority areas for educational system funding in Africa to face the challenges posed by the pandemic: remote learning during school closures, teacher training on remote learning technologies, the inclusion of vulnerable populations in education, and sanitation materials and other required resources needed for school reopening.
The Minister of National Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso, Stanislas Ouro, and Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports representative, Jane Egau Okou, and other presenters, also highlighted the urgent need to reprioritize educational system funding. The KIX Observatory serves as a platform to champion these Southern voices and experiences in the face of COVID-19, promoting accomplishments and evidence in the process.
The country-specific responses to financing education during COVID-19 provided evidence for future recommendations. The Central African Republic, for example, supported remote learning solutions, and teacher training on gender-based violence and learners’ psychosocial needs that have emerged with school disruptions. Similarly, Burkina Faso used both domestic and international funding to facilitate continued distance learning through radio and related ICT educational programs, in addition to providing remedial programs for learners, and supporting on-site learning through procurement of WASH materials to protect learners.
By centring the discussion on Southern voices, the webinar highlighted the need to build upon successes and create educational systems capable of withstanding any crises that may come their way. Through this spirit of dialogue and exchange, stakeholders could quickly confront the challenges associated with education financing, teacher and learner welfare, and school reopening.
With more knowledge sharing to come through the KIX Observatory platform, these webinar discussions, their published reports, and their live policy and practice response trackers, the KIX Observatory is contributing to global efforts to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on education.
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording here: KIX Observatory Webinar: Education Financing, Teacher and Learner Well-being and School Reopening - YouTube.