Return to Learning during COVID-19 Case Studies: Pockets of Promise for Navigating Future Crises
According to 2021 data released by UNICEF, schools for more than 168 million children globally have been completely closed for almost an entire year due to COVID-19 lockdowns (UNICEF, 2021). The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities in education, and compounding crises and vulnerabilities mean that millions of children may never return to learning. In the early stages of the pandemic (mid-2020), USAID commissioned case study research in Colombia, Georgia, Lebanon, Nigeria and Zambia to describe and document examples of the return to learning process and to better understand how governments and education systems navigated COVID response and recovery.
In this USAID Leading Through Learning Global Platform webcast, we will describe the various approaches and challenges to return to learning across the five countries during the first 14 months of the pandemic—longer than most expected it to last. This webcast will feature key “pockets of promise,” which are examples of education actors leveraging the expertise, resources and mechanisms available to them to continue to innovate and adapt responses as the pandemic endured. In addition, join the discussion between the researchers and USAID Mission staff involved with the Georgia and Lebanon case studies where we will explore ways to identify, leverage and institutionalize pockets of promise to withstand future crises. Through participation in this webcast, attendees will gain an increased awareness and appreciation for the contextual considerations that shape how, why and when return to learning strategies are effective.