Remote learning solutions for resilient education systems: Seven resource packs to guide governments and policymakers

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The blogpost was written by Robert Jenkins, UNICEF, and Jaime Saavedra, World Bank and published on Education for Global Development on Mach 2, 2022. The blogpost is avaible at https://blogs.worldbank.org/education/remote-learning-solutions-resilient-education-systems-seven-resource-packs-guide . It is published here without any modification and with permission from the authors

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as 1.6 billion schoolchildren were affected by school closures, countries around the world introduced remote learning as a crisis-response. This led to an unprecedented change in the provision of education. Most countries found themselves setting up remote learning at break-neck speed and often for the first time at scale, which contributed to large variations in the quality and effectiveness of remote learning programs.

Two years of disruptions to schooling has had a devastating impact on learning. But even before the pandemic, the world was grappling with a learning crisis, which has now worsened even further than previously feared. Pre-pandemic data show that half of ten-year-olds living in low- and middle-income countries were unable to read or understand a simple story, which is referred to as learning poverty. It is now estimated that learning poverty could reach 70 percent globally due to the learning lost to school closures.

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Decolonising Open Educational Resources (OER): Why the focus on ‘open’ and ‘access’ is not enough for the EdTech revolution

Reading Time: 10 minutes

At EdTech Hub, we’ve been reflecting on how coloniality is embedded in the work we do: from the colonial roots of the international development sector to colonial practices embedded in research methods, to “core-to-periphery” design and deployment of EdTech interventions. We’ve just begun this journey, but in trying to embody one of our EdTech Hub values of ‘fearless and humble learning,’ we wanted to think out loud with you. This is the second in long-form series exploring what it means to strive toward ‘Decolonising EdTech’. Thanks to Taskeen Adam and Moizza Binat Sarwar for their support and insights.


As a community organiser, I started a grassroots learning neighbourhood initiative for self-directed, agile learning among families, children, and youth in Egypt where I am from. We initially used Open Educational Resources for input and content to questions asked and raised by children according to their interests and curiosities. After months of using such resources, I found the children coming and asking me: “Are there no Arabs who ever contributed to inventions around the world?” Knowing the rich history of the Arab civilization, and its extended Islamic heritage that laid the foundations, during the middle centuries, for modern sciences today, I felt ashamed as an educator of the hidden message I unintentionally to my students”

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The Story of ‘Unlocking Data’

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Photo Credit: Image by ESSA

Imagine you are working in the Ugandan Ministry of Education and you want to understand how barriers to girls’ education at secondary level are changing. You can find a few academic articles that look relevant but sit behind a paywall, and a high-level report from a consulting firm, none of which answer the exact question you want to ask. You know the data that was used to write these articles and reports could provide crucial insights if analysed with your priorities in mind. However, tracking down the data is fruitless  —  the data was not deposited, catalogued, or indeed ethically cleared for future use.

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Using ‘building blocks’ to develop digital education platforms cheaper and faster

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Earlier this year, our team at EdTech Hub and partners at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation noticed a recurring pattern: we saw colleagues around the world — in government, the private sector, civil society — working to develop various digital platforms for learning. We also noticed that most of them tended to need similar platform components — and they either developed them from scratch or used off-the-shelf solutions that weren’t quite tailored to their needs. 

We found ourselves wondering … if we, as a global EdTech community, can understand which platform components or ‘building blocks’, are needed and how they can be used most effectively, we could reduce duplication, increase quality, and conserve resources — ultimately lowering the cost of digital education opportunities and giving access to more children. 

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