KIX EAP Webinar: What has COVID-19 done to education and research?

17 May 2021
Credit: Nikhita S /

On 21st April 2021, NORRAG hosted the 8th KIX EAP webinar “What has COVID-19 done to education and research?” in collaboration with Professor Elaine Unterhalter, one of the guest editors of NORRAG Special Issue 06: States of Emergency: Education in the time of Covid-19 and the following authors of the special issue: Pravindharan Balakrishnan, Professor Marie Lall and Dr Kusha Anand.

Professor Elaine Unterhalter discussed the emerging themes about education and research in the time of COVID-19: repositioning of vulnerabilities, care and social protection, disruptions and dislocated times and the revisioning and realignments on what inequality means in education.

Two papers were presented to feature lived experiences of education during COVID-19 in Asia. Professor Marie Lall and Dr Kusha Anand presented their study “Teachers’ digital agency and pedagogy during the Covid-19 crisis in India”, which took an in-depth analysis of online classroom practices. Their results indicate that while there were many challenges with online teaching, teacher digital agency has evolved as they adapt and develop local solutions. Irrespective of these findings, the question remains: what will happen with these new practices post-COVID-19?

Lastly, Pravindharan Balakrishnan discussed the pandemic shock on the education system using an Actor-Network Theory perspective. As a public-school teacher in Malaysia, he shared his experience from the field. Among other takeaways, COVID-19 has greatly reduced public trust in standardized assessments and has raised concerns about data-driven insights that are used to gauge students’ progress. It also brought about new forms of public-private partnerships (PPP) and the need to enhance the digital agency of teachers, students and parents.

Throughout the webinar, diverse participants shared ongoing practices and raised concerns about COVID-19 and its impact on education in their respective countries and the region.

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