This special issue of the Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE) offers empirical observations of the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students, parents, and teachers in conflict and crisis-affected contexts. It lends rigorous evidence in support of approaches that strengthen preparedness and mitigate against adverse child protection and learning outcomes from future school closures, including those instigated by public health emergencies. And it draws lessons for the education in emergencies field from research and fieldwork conducted in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Honduras, and elsewhere at the height of COVID-19, as well as from past pandemics and epidemics, including Ebola, SARS, and HIV/AIDS. The authors who contributed to this issue address teacher pay and working conditions during the pandemic and the rapid transition to remote learning that left many teachers feeling disoriented and overburdened. Some contributors examine the realities of accessing remote learning in digitally marginalized and low-resource settings, while others reveal where remote learning opportunities failed to address the unique needs of learners with disabilities. Several authors reflect on the pandemic’s role in bringing educational programming to scale through WhatsApp, video and social media platforms, and innovative resource libraries. Finally, this issue provides a sustained focus on learners’ own experiences of the pandemic, which as the contributing authors highlight, intersected with learners’ caretaking obligations as adolescent mothers, with their being cast as dangerous or radical because they are students in a Qur’anic school, or with other dimensions of their identities.
Journal on Education in Emergencies, vol. 8, no. 3
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