Teaching and learner well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: KIX Observatory on COVID-19 Responses; first brief

Organisation(s): Association for the Development of Education in Africa; International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa

Date: 2021

Pages: 15 p.

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This brief focuses on two areas - Teachers and Teaching and Learner Well-being and Learning during COVID-19 - for the following key reasons: Teachers are not well prepared to teach, more so during a time of crisis. Sub-Saharan Africa region records the lowest proportions of teachers with the minimum qualifications. The teachers have insufficient opportunities to build their pedagogical and content knowledge. There is a lack of them especially in rural areas. Teacher shortages are most acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% and 90% of the countries face shortages at the primary and the secondary level, respectively (UNESCO-UIS, 2016). Teachers’ capacity to maintain education quality has been destabilized following abrupt school closures caused by the COVID-19. Millions of learners have experienced multiple shocks from COVID-19, with important shortand long-term implications and risks to their education, protection, development, and wellbeing. Their dreams of a successful future are now even more at peril. The situation has brought generations of learners’ pre-existing gaps, risks, and vulnerabilities to widen and new layers of exclusion to increase. It is understood that the resulting preventive and yet prolonged closure of schools, lockdown measures, and therefore lack of access to key protective social services, including schools - which for many constitutes a place of refuge - have led to sudden interruptions of learners’ daily routines, relationships and close ties within social groups. Learners, particularly girls and young women, assumed a greater burden of care and domestic chores in households where economic security has been lost; with increased psychoemotional duress and stress, sexual harassment, exploitation on children, and sexual related violence from partners or family members, or even rape in many instances. Due to harmful traditional practices in more marginalized and remote areas and communities, learners were likely to suffer from a higher incidence of other negative impacts, such as female genital mutilation/cutting, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage, putting many of them at risk of never returning to school.

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