Community communication strategies and back-to-school campaigns are required prior to the re-opening of the schools. As directed by the Ministry of Education, the phase return to school started on 12 October, with the first groups of classes (Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4). All schools in the country closed in March 2020. About 20 million children have been affected by the schools’ closure.
In line with MOE guidelines, schools should develop policies and procedures suitable in their own environment to enable smooth reopening of the institution including all health protocols required in the fight against COVID -19.
Device appropriate flexible learning environment by using e-learning and offline learning platforms to cater for those who might miss school due to illnesses and other causes.
Radio lessons in urban areas do not cater for learners with hearing impairment. There is need for additional radios, tablets, computers, textbooks and other learning materials, as well as solar lamps, hygiene kits and data bundles, for both refugee and host community students at all educational levels, as limited ownership of personal devices constrains full access to ongoing learning continuity interventions and home/community-based learning. University students need laptops to access e-learning.
There is unequal access to technology such as computers, laptops or smartphones, as well as prohibitive internet costs and unreliable internet access, especially for learners from disadvantaged families and marginalized communities. Where the technology is available, there are concerns around young children’s unsupervised internet usage.
The long-term impact of school closures are wide-ranging and even more devastating to families living below the poverty line. Learners, particularly girls and young women from vulnerable families, often have to compliment family income by working on farms and contribute to household chores or care work instead of learning.
Due to the long school closures, some girls may be subject to SGBV, early pregnancies and early marriage which puts them at a higher risk of dropping out of school; hence educational outcomes for the most vulnerable families will suffer as they have little reason to send their children back to school when schools re-open.
A total of 43,384 children (35,073 boys and 8,311 girls) have been reached through remote learning. Out of these, 2,488 (1,295 boys and 1,193 girls) were children with special needs.
Education partners reported 19,682 children (4,948 boys and 14,734 girls) reached with school safety interventions, and 16,606 children (3,271 boys and 13,389 girls) were provided with psychosocial messages/services.
A total of 5,626 children (1,381 boys and 4,245 girls) were reached with conditional household cash transfers.
About 119 (88 male, 31 female) teachers and educational officials were reached; of whom 88 (63 male, 25 female) were provided with financial support.
A total of 43,584 (21,678 boys, 21,906 girls) were reached with wash facilities, of whom 10,680 (6,957 boys, 6,675 girls) were provided with improved handwashing facilities, while 3,392 (1,820 boys, 1,572 girls) were provided with soap and hand sanitizers. In addition, 1,572 girls benefited from menstrual support/dignity kits. It should also be noted that there were no schools that had been disinfected.
On surveys and tracking, a total of 14,422 (7366 boys, 7056 girls) were reached. Out of these, 1,496 (744 boys and 752 girls) were assessed on the impact of COVID-19 on education, while 10,430 (5,378 boys, 5,052 girls) were reached in monitoring and evaluation activity.
A total of 646,969 (81,393 boys, 565,576 girls) children were reached through various health interventions; 2,188 (1,192 boys, 996 girls) children benefited from PPE’s while a total of 512,838 (9,346 boys, 503,492 girls) were reached with dissemination of paper-based materials or home visits.
A total of 19,141 children (14,119 boys, 5,022 girls) were reached through dissemination of health-related messages through media such as radio. Further, 3,372 children (1,858 boys, 1,514 girls) were reached through SMS or mobile messaging.
Need to conduct a gap analysis of the education system and perform a complete reboot in the quest to provide equitable access to learning for all.
Students do not have enough radios, textbooks and digital devices for distance learning. The current radio airtime dedicated to distance learning does not suffice.
There is a possibility of basic education institutions inadequate capacity to observe the Ministry of Education’s State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education guidelines on health and safety protocols for re-opening of Basic Education Institutions amid COVID -19 Pandemic should schools re-open in October 2020 due to the following: congested classrooms/dining halls/staff rooms/ and dormitories/laboratories; inadequate clean safe water; inadequate handwashing facilities/points at strategic locations; inadequate age appropriate and gender sensitive toilets and bathrooms; unavailable or unresponsive referral mechanisms; inability to provide adequate and quality protective equipment for teachers and support staff and PPE’s; inadequate fumigation and rehabilitation of schools used as quarantine or holding centres for COVID19 patients; and inability to construct/renovate/rehabilitate schools destroyed by climate-induced disasters (flooding, mudslides, landslides, strong winds).