We’ve gone from the initial panic around school closures to solving for many of the problems and challenges that have been thrown up as a result, whether they be the very serious issues connected to inequity or about pedagogy for online learning. I sense we are now headed towards having a conversation about what the ‘new normal’ looks like for the education sector.
Before we get there, we have to focus on how best to reopening schools and this is not just a matter of opening the school gates and continuing from where we left off. The closures have had huge issues, namely the learning loss that has taken place in the time that our kids have been off school. To pretend otherwise is a folly.
IF YOU WERE EDUCATION MINISTER, WHAT WOULD YOU PRIORITISE?
I was challenged this week to think about how in the context of budgetary cuts and a looming recession, how we could still play catch up effectively, and also consider the longer term reforms that need to take place to ensure education systems are fit for the future. No easy task, let me confess. Where do we even start?
I’d like your thoughts on what you would spend a hypothetical budget of £100 on three key priorities… please leave a comment below.
I also read that the Gates Foundation are concentrating their funding and efforts on Covid-19 and in the context of education, are looking to fund interventions that explore how we do online learning. Is that where we should focus?
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS, RIGHT?
Aashti Zaidi of the Global Schools Forum invited me to a Zoom call for their membership organisations, which I attended as an independent observer to hear their experiences of Covid-19. Interestingly, their membership spans those in the NGO sector as well as the for-profit education sector and I was interested to hear if government’s were taking into consideration the vital role that many of these providers have in these contexts. You can read their post here on their recommendations on how best to support them.
Education is, generally, highly ideological and in these times, we need to come together to ensure that we do the best for everyone.
COMMUNITY BUILDING ON LINKEDIN – you can join the group here.
The LinkedIn group that I set up a few weeks back had the following contributions, which may be of interest:
> Strategy consulting firm, McKinsey published this piece on school system priorities in the age of Covid-19. I like the priority they placed on supporting teachers.
> The Edtech Hub which is a a $25 million 8-year EdTech research initiative of the World Bank, DFID and the Gates Foundation is seeking tech-enabled solutions and edtech experts for:
- out-of-school formal & non-formal distance learning/assessment
- teacher/principal/parent support solutions
- the psychosocial & socio-emotional side-effects of COVID-19
- rapid education data collection systems … for low- & middle-income countries (Africa, Asia & the Middle East).
View the call for proposals here: https://lnkd.in/e3MCX75
They will be reviewing & selecting applications on a weekly rolling basis starting from 1st May until end of May, with successful applicants notified throughout. They will also be looking for inclusive solutions for marginalized groups (the disabled, displaced, refugees, girls, etc).
> Pivot conducted a survey of 3,500 teachers in Australia and New Zealand, and these were some of their results:
- 80% of teachers and school leaders believe that students will need extra instructional support when they return to in-classroom learning
- 70% of teachers say they have increased their planning time
- 90% of teachers say they want student feedback on their teaching
They say that boredom leads to creativity, so I’m delighted to share a photo of the hat my daughter made from an IKEA bag, apparently, it’s quite a fashion statement! Pleased that she channeled her creativity.