The KIX Africa 19 Hub recently exhibited and presented on a panel during the 66th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 18-22, 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused and accelerated a unique set of challenges that affect learning outcomes through unprecedented school closures, increased dropout rates, and disruptions to local and national economies. Though the pandemic has led to negative impacts among learners, KIX Africa 19 Hub partner countries have put in place interventions intended to alleviate the aftershocks of the pandemic.
Such interventions include strategies for financing responses and school reopening plans, support to school children to cope and prevent gender-based violence and social-emotional related stress. The interventions have been supported through KIX Africa 19 Hub capacity building workshops. In a highlighted session entitled “Building Resilience of Education Systems: Policy and Practice Responses to COVID-19”, UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) Senior Project Coordinator, Dr. Victoria Kisaakye cited country experiences exchanged at KIX engagements to share how Hub country partners have responded resiliently to disruptions caused and exacerbated by COVID-19.
She mentioned that during the “Reaching and Teaching the Girl Child in the COVID-19 Era” webinar, an official from the Zimbabwe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education provided insight on the country’s back-to-school campaign. The campaign incorporated service fairs that provided a forum for “in-built community dialogue sessions” in all districts in the country that resulted “in many children with disabilities, pregnant teens and those in child marriages returning to schools”.
Furthermore, Dr. Kisaakye referred to Ethiopia’s strategy “to mobilise not only government resources but to mobilise other stakeholders” such as the local community, industries and social sectors to facilitate the acquisition of more than 100,000 pieces of furniture to accommodate social distancing practices. This approach was described by the Director General of the School Improvement Program at the Ethiopia Ministry of Education during the KIX Africa 19 Hub Ethiopian National Dialogue. Dr. Kisaakye noted how these types of knowledge exchanges can illuminate the repository of ideas and innovations emerging from country partner responses to COVID-19.
The panel presentation also featured speakers from the International Development Research Center, Association for the Development of Education in Africa, African Population and Health Research Center and the KIX Africa 21 Hub who provided insights on teacher training and support, open and massive online course as well as funding priorities for education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on the KIX Africa 19 Hub, please visit our website housed on UNESCO IICBA’s website, and visit our digital repository to access more than two hundred national and regional policies, research, and resources on teaching and learning, assessment, early childhood education, gender equity and inclusion, and the data challenge in education.