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Education during the COVID-19 crisis: Opportunities and constraints of using EdTech in low-income countries

Over the last two weeks, as part of my work with the Edtech Hub, I have worked with Raluca David, Digital Pathways at Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government, Katy Jordan, EdTech Hub, University of Cambridge, and Toby Phillips, Digital Pathways at Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government on a policy brief about government responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the education sector in low-income countries.

You can read/download the brief here.

The key messages in the brief are:

  • During this time of crisis, education will not be business-as-usual, and EdTech alone cannot close the learning gap. It will be dedicated teachers and resilient educators who will ensure learning doesn’t stop — but they could be helped by the right EdTech tools
  • The digital divide means that internet and mobile network access varies greatly in middle- and low-income countries
  • Governments can provide immediate support by informing teachers about simple grassroots platforms where they can share their own EdTech solutions
  • Educational television and radio broadcasts in combination with SMS are effective communication channels between educators and students when the internet connectivity is poor or not available
  • It will be important for education authorities to begin planning how in 12 months’ time they will diagnose and treat the learning gaps that have emerged during the crisis

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

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