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Crisis Response Journal Crisis Response Journal

Education during emergencies

Posted on 23rd March 2020 at 15:36pm

It is often taken for granted that schools will be fully equipped and able to cope during national emergencies, particularly with the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to ensure educational continuity. Certainly in countries where internet connection or power is not always guaranteed, alternatives to virtual learning environments and e-Learning need to be considered. A summary of findings from authors Said Sahar Harb, Said N Abu Aita and Heba S Aljorani, whose full research blog on education continuity in the Gaza Strip will be published on the CRJ website very soon, offers some solutions for educational establishments that are finding themselves having to navigate through closure and its associated challenges.

  • Where possible, direct students to educational centres adjacent to their residences to receive the education that they were deprived of during the crisis. Taking into account the directives of the WHO that centres should not be crowded with students, divide them into groups of no more than ten and allow an area of 2m2 per student
  • Enable communications with officials in government and local community leaders to find a mechanism to compensate students for the materials that they have missed
  • As the academic year draws to a close, consider that:
    • The pupils’ results of the last full semester/term are approved as their final result and this ends the school year
    • Students are tested in the subjects they have completed from the curriculum until the day of school dropout – if the percentage of what has been accomplished from the curriculum is acceptable as a minimum amount of educational achievement
    • All students succeed and are transferred to the next stage of the new school year
  • Train students in self-education in normal school days in anticipation of such circumstances, so that education gradually turns from being teacher-led to self-education in times of crisis to ensure continuity of education
  • Prepare practical papers for each subject separately so that they can be used in emergency times and communicate with parents and the local community to dispatch them to students
  • Broadcast explained, detailed lessons and hold electronic exams for students
  • Convert the written curriculum into an electronic curriculum that contains the scientific material and some worksheets and tests through a site for each educational stage or develop an app that includes all the stages.
  • Governments endorse compulsory subjects for all school levels which are learned and evaluated through e-learning. Students and parents may aldready be accustomed to this type of education during normal times and it would be relatively easy to make the full transition to e-learning during times of emergency
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