Home Learning for Children in Low-Income Contexts during a Pandemic: An Analysis of 2020 Survey Results from Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
COVID-19-related school closures and the need for millions of learners to learn at home created additional pressures for parents and caregivers who were suddenly responsible for their children’s education, often with limited support or resources. When schools closed, a flood of home learning materials and activities circulated online, but too few of these solutions focused on the home learning needs of learners with disabilities in low-income contexts, where online learning is rarely an option. The Enabling Education Network and Norwegian Association of Disabled developed guidance materials for all learners that encouraged appropriate, achievable, and low-stress learning activities in easy-to-read and visual formats, which are now available in online and printed formats. These materials were informed by an online survey that captured a snapshot of the extent to which home learning support and resources were provided, and recorded the perspectives of parents, families, and education professionals about learners’ situations in 27 countries in the months leading up to July 2020. In this article, we focus on survey responses from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Syria that describe the inclusive home learning provision available. We compared these findings with responses from other countries and identified four key areas of learning that emphasize the importance of localized approaches to inclusive education, drawing on community networks, and positioning teachers and parents as important community resources for education in emergencies.
The authors discuss their work in the Behind the Pages podcast episode embedded below: