Learning Renewed: our Covid-19 response

Learning Renewed: enabling learning now, and improving education systems for the future

Education systems around the world are trying to emerge from Covid-19-related lockdown. But they face a huge challenge. How can systems re-open to rapidly re-engage learners increasingly left behind during this crisis – with some schools still fully or partially closed – and do so safely and effectively? We believe that this is not only possible, but that it can be done in a way that also addresses key pre-existing barriers to quality. Our ‘Learning Renewed’ thinking presents an approach that will help rapidly improve education quality now, and build more resilient systems for the future.

Education Development Trust has sought to be highly responsive to the changing needs of educators, system leaders and our partners around the world throughout the period of change and uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. In doing so, we have been developing an evidence base on ‘what works’ in education in emergency settings and remote education through our research, and learning from adaptations in our global programming. From this, we have developed new thinking, which we call ‘Learning Renewed’, which presents practical approaches to help leaders re-open education systems to tackle the emerging learning crisis, whilst considering what more effective, equitable and resilient education systems might look like moving forwards.

This programme of work will be continuing in the coming months, but our first two major think pieces in this series, Learning Renewed: A safe way to reopen schools in the Global South’, and 'Maintaining learning continuity during school closure: Community Health Volunteer support for marginalised girls in Kenya', have now been published. The former applies our thinking to outline a vision for the ‘flexible reopening’ of schools, supplemented by community-based learning, and we believe this model offers real potential to ensure higher quality education provision for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. The latter examines the redesigned roles of community health volunteers (CHVs) to support continuity of learning for the vulnerable girls we work with in the Girls Education Challenge programme in Kenya, and the lessons we can apply for the future. We invite dialogue with key education stakeholders to develop this line of thinking further.

Alongside our thinking, we offer support. We know policymakers in any context face real challenges in reopening schools, ensuring cohorts of pupils with widely different needs are able to return to education and catch up effectively. We can provide support for planning, helping to apply the evidence-base through high-quality advice and guidance, drawing on our decades of experience providing technical consultancy and research services to education ministries globally. We can also offer implementation support, drawing on our broad experience designing and delivering national education programmes, using our deep understanding of the factors that contributed to – and constrained – effective learning before and during the pandemic.