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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5 principles to create effective Communities of Practice across governments

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Rachel Hinton, Tom Kaye and Christina Myers for the EdTech Hub blog.

In 2021, EdTech Hub partnered with the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government to deliver an executive education programme focused on digital transformation and educational technologies (EdTech). This programme — which convened nearly 30 policymakers from 13 countries — was a miniature community of practice (COP) focused on EdTech reform. In this blog, we introduce key principles to implement international, cross-government COPs to support the design of effective EdTech reforms and programmes. 

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Guidelines for Mapping Education Data in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The blogpost was written by Taskeen Adam and Irene Selwaness and published on the EdTech Hub blog on June 14, 2022. The blogpost is available at https://edtechhub.org/2022/06/14/guidelines-for-mapping-education-data-in-sub-saharan-africa/ under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International. It is reposted here without any modifications.


Are you a government official, NGO or researcher looking to understand what education data is available locally? Our new guidance note shares practical lessons learnt from mapping the availability of education data in Kenya, Malawi, and Sierra Leone.

Last year, we posted about the Unlocking Data initiative and its goal to support access, use, and sharing of education data to effectively tell the story of education in Africa. In 2020,  we hosted a series of workshops that aimed to unpack the biggest barriers in data sharing. At these workshops, the community of practice realised that before we can truly discuss (re)using education data effectively, we need to understand what data exists, where the data gaps are, and what data indicators are needed for decision-making. To delve into the topic further, we hosted an event to showcase early ‘Lessons Learnt from Education Data Mapping in Africa’ and created a working methodology for education data mapping.

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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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Decolonising EdTech: A resource list for tackling coloniality and digital neocolonialism in EdTech

Reading Time: 8 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 first of a three-part, long-form series exploring what it means to strive toward ‘Decolonising EdTech’.

Special thanks to our @GlobalEdTechHub twitter followers who responded to our crowd-sourcing call for resources on Decolonising EdTech.

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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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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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Advancing evidence-based decision making in LMICs: Focus of EdTech Hub’s work

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This blog post is a cross-post from EdTech Hub‘s blog https://edtechhub.org/2021/05/07/advancing-evidence-based-decision-making-in-lmics-focus-of-edtech-hubs-work/ (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0). The blog post was written by Sara Hennessy on the 7th May 2021.

This blog sets out the Hub’s aims and approaches to identifying appropriate and effective uses of EdTech that can potentially raise learning outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Research shows that EdTech offers immense potential, but sustainable and positive change at scale has largely proved elusive in practice – particularly for marginalised learners where we focus our work. 

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Using evidence to strengthen tech-supported teacher professional development in Madagascar

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Reposted from EdTech Hub. Original authors: CAITLIN MOSS COFLAN, SAALIM KOOMAR AND HASINIAVO RASOLOHERY. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

High school students in Soavinandriana, Itasy region, Madagascar, attending an educational movie projection.
Photo credit: Hasiniavo Rasolohery, 2019

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Context

Madagascar faces high levels of learning poverty; 97 per cent of the country’s children at late primary age are not proficient in reading (World Bank, 2019, based on 2015 PASEC data). We know teachers are one of the most crucial influences on student learning; in 2019, just 15% of primary school Malagasy teachers were qualified. How can these teachers be supported effectively to improve student learning? And how can this support be provided at a distance, at scale, using technology in ways that can support populations with limited connectivity?  Despite reportedly high internet speeds, internet penetration is low, just 2.1% of Malagasy people can access the internet (Quartz article, Lijadu, 2019). 

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L’utilisation des preuves pour renforcer la formation pédagogique à travers les technologies à Madagascar

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Cross-posted from https://edtechhub.org. Original post APRIL 23, 2021 BY CAITLIN MOSS COFLAN, SAALIM KOOMAR AND HASINIAVO RASOLOHERY. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Des lycéens de Soavinandriana, de la région Itasy, Madagascar, assistant à une séance de projection de vidéo éducative.
Crédit Photo: Hasiniavo Rasolohery, 2019

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Contexte

Madagascar fait face à un taux élevé de la pauvreté d’apprentissage; 97 pour cent des enfants en classe de primaire du pays ne sont pas capables de lire un texte en français adapté à leur âge (Banque mondiale 2019, sur données PASEC 2015). Nous savons que les enseignants ont une influence cruciale sur l’éducation des élèves; en 2019, seulement 15% des enseignants primaires Malagasy avaient la qualification nécessaire. Comment appuyer ces enseignants efficacement afin d’améliorer l’éducation des étudiants? Et comment cet appui pourrait être fourni à distance sur une grande échelle, en utilisant des technologies qui peuvent aider les communautés dont l’accès au réseau est faible? Malgré ladite éxistence de connexion à très haut débit , le faible taux de pénétration d’Internet montre que seuls 2.1% des Malagasy ont accès à Internet (Article Quartz, Lijadu, 2019).

Depuis la première incursion de EdTech Hub dans ces problèmes à travers un briefing du « Helpdesk » sur les initiatives de développement professionnel des enseignants dans les environnements à faible connectivité, nous avons travaillé avec le Ministère l’Éducation Nationale (MEN), L’Institut National de Formation Pédagogique (INFP), et la Banque Mondiale sur la première composante du Projet d’Appui à l’Education de Base pour étaler cet ensemble de défis. 16 000 enseignants de la première et deuxième année seront directement impliqués dans un pilotage de formation pédagogique (FP) dans le cadre de ce projet, afin d’améliorer les résultats des élèves en lecture et calcul. 

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