The KIX Africa 19 hub engaged member states and partners to share their experiences in the education sector on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. Country representatives from three member states, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Malawi, presented on their teaching and learning response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including their progress in ensuring continuity of learning, the challenges they’ve faced and their success stories.
Much of the discussion focused on how member states are addressing the needs of vulnerable and marginalized learners, in particular, young girls. Valentino Zimpita, Deputy Director of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Malawi, explained that, “ In Malawi the government conducted an assessment on the situation faced by girls and the number of pregnancies. It was determined that the impact was large.” In other words, girls who became pregnant while out of school may not come back; therefore the focus has been on raising awareness on the re-entry programs already in place for young mothers to return to school.
Mr. Ralenkoane, CEO of Curriculum & Assessment, Ministry of Education and Training in Lesotho, shared that in Lesotho, ministries of Education and Social Welfare worked together to help families with economic difficulties following the loss of income due to the pandemic. They did this so that students could return to school even if they could not afford the fees.
The member states also shared insights on how their past experience informed their current actions. Emmanuel Deoud, Donor Coordination Desk Officer, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in Sierra Leone, mentioned that hand washing stations in schools have become “part of the culture” following the Ebola outbreak there in 2014.
Hub members were enthusiastic and eager to share and learn from one another. The Africa 19 hub plans to organize additional experience-sharing webinars on the continuity of learning and allow other member states to share their stories, in the future.
For more information on the Hub’s upcoming events, visit UNESCO IICBA’s KIX page