Learning continuity in response to climate emergencies: Pakistan’s 2022 floods
With recent research identifying challenges in how existing responses to Pakistan’s 2022 floods are supporting learning continuity, we explored the extent to which EdTech has the potential to improve access to and quality of education through the various phases of response to the floods — in a feasible way with attention to scalability.
Through the insights of 88 flood-affected parents and teachers (interviewed in October 2022 and January 2023), Education Officers, development partners, and international experts in education in emergencies, we found that:
- Despite substantial investment in distance learning modalities prior to the floods, there were gaps in parental awareness about distance learning options, teachers’ pedagogical skills and levels of comfort with technology, access challenges created by poverty, unequal infrastructure (across provinces and between urban and rural localities), which could have impacted the feasibility and scalability of distance learning modalities.
- During the different phases of response to the emergency, communities’ needs and infrastructural realities keep changing. However, existing responses to support learning have not been able to address these needs at scale. We find that the most significant barrier to learning continuity is lack of information and coordination. Even where schools reopened, teachers felt insufficiently supported to address students’ varying needs and were not offered the curricular flexibility to do so.
- To support learning continuity in any future climate emergencies, we recommend investing in communication and coordination mechanisms and the development of a central database, which can identify linguistically and contextually appropriate content on teaching, learning, and psychosocial support that is shareable via devices to which communities have access.