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Event: Reopening schools with re-imagined learning

On 6th August, Education Development Trust joined the EdTech Hub to co-host an online event: ‘Reopening schools with re-imagined learning’. The webinar convened world experts in education to discuss visions for better learning as schools around the world begin to reopen following widespread closures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s theme, ‘Changing Course, Transforming Lives’, reflects the need for radical change to navigate the complex challenges ahead. The ongoing pandemic, climate crisis and emerging technology gap, as well as deep-rooted cycles of poverty and inequality, all signal that business as usual is no longer an option. Innovative, transformative action is required.

EdDevTrust is taking this opportunity to showcase the bright spots and transformations we have seen in our work this year.

  • Adapting to crisis and context

More than ever, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for adaptability, as well a meaningful understanding of local context and partners. In Jordan, we made transformative adjustments to ensure learning continued during the pandemic. ‘High-tech to no-tech’ adaptable remote learning materials were created to ensure all students could participate, irrespective of their access to technology. Meanwhile, we adapted our longstanding partnership with community health volunteers (CHVs) in Kenya to maintain continuity of learning for girls during school closures – enabling 94% girls to return to school under our Girls Education Challenge programme. The CHVs’ role in supporting education has now been absorbed into their regular work as community volunteers.

  • Trailblazing innovative research methods

We know how important it is to innovate and transform our methods of working, and this has been at the forefront of our research and consultancy work this year. In 2020/21, 70% of our consultants went beyond established methods or took innovative approaches in their work. And in 100% of projects, clients felt that we were able to adapt methods and outputs in response to new data, insights or priorities. Our research this year has provided insights into critical issues including girls’ education, climate change, budget cuts and lessons learned from Covid-19 and we will continue to transform our practice for the best outcomes in 2022.

  • Working at all levels to transform girls’ education

EdDevTrust is transforming its approach to girls’ education, foregrounding gender equity across our projects and working holistically to raise awareness, build capacity and change gendered behaviours. Evidence shows that barriers to girls’ learning are pervasive – existing at the household, community, classroom, and school leadership and system level. This is why we are taking action to work with all stakeholders in the system. In Nepal, our Gender Equity and Social Inclusion analysis of the education sector is feeding into its education sector planning process. In Ethiopia, we are advocating for women in educational leadership. In Kenya we are equipping ‘champions’ to hold schools to account on issues such as female attendance and safety. And in Rwanda, our media campaigns are promoting behaviour change, particularly in relation to protecting girls from violence and abuse.

  • Maximising data and technology for learning

Despite the issues of unequal access to technology, online resources have transformed programmes this year and maintained progress despite the challenges of remote learning and training. In the UK, we used adaptive online models to enable continued school-to-school collaboration through our Schools Partnership Programme (SPP) and our teacher professional development programmes also reached huge numbers in part due to virtual delivery methods. Meanwhile, we ran remote communities of practice in Rwanda, Kenya and Lebanon to help teachers continue their professional development and support them through the disruption of school closures. EdDevTrust will continue to harness data and technology to reach more learners, teachers and leaders.

  • Embracing organisational reflection and change

Finally, EdDevTrust recognises the importance of open, internal reflection and over the past year we have increased our commitment to inclusion and diversity to great effect. ‘Inclusion’ is now one of our key values, and inclusive practices feature more heavily in our programmes than ever. Under the Building Learning Foundations programme in Rwanda, 481 teachers became Inclusion Education Focal Teachers. Recognising that both programmatic and organisational transformation are critical to improving lives, we plan to roll out this initiative further in 2022 and take additional steps to create a transparent and responsible workplace, such as implementing our ambitious Carbon Offset Plan.

For more on our remarkable work with schools and partners during 2020/21, check out our newly published Annual Impact Report, here.

How will you be mobilising to build more equitable and inclusive education systems this year? Join the conversation with us on Twitter under #EducationDay – and remember to tag us, or contact us below.