EI Africa launches study on COVID-19 and education

published 5 October 2020 updated 6 October 2020

EI Africa launches study on COVID-19 and education

Today, Education International Africa Region (EIRAF), launched a research study on COVID-19 and education. The study reveals that teacher unions and their members have taken several initiatives to respond to the crisis. Ninety-two percent (92%) of education unions embarked on awareness raising initiatives and 38 % developed tools for their members, while many others engaged in dialogue with governments.

However, 62% reported that no measures were taken by the governments to support teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 9% were engaged in meaningful consultation by governments and only 17% of teachers were given psychosocial support. A mere 28% of educators received training and professional development.

This is a snapshot of some of the statistics from the research study on how education unions are responding to COVID-19 and the state of education launched by Education International Africa Region on World Teachers’ Day. The launch was witnessed by EI member organisations, government representatives, educators, activists and EI partners from Africa and Across the world during the 24-hour EI online World Teachers’ Day celebrations. This research was conducted to better understand the impact of the pandemic on education systems, students, teachers, and education support personnel in Africa and collect examples of union and educator responses to the crisis.

The survey revealed that countries in Africa were at various levels of reopening schools. While some unions perceived the government’s preparations for reopening educational institutions (including the provision of health guidelines, personal protective equipment, water and sanitation, and arrangement for social distancing) as adequate, in general, more perceived them as inadequate.

The survey acknowledged that there were some efforts to ensure continuity of learning during the crisis. However, most unions (83%) perceived the distance education provided during closures as ineffective. Covid-19 infections among teachers and students, the perceived impact of online learning, Government support and employment conditions were also surveyed.

Recommendations were made to Education International Africa, the African Union Commission, and the African Governments specially to advocate, strengthen relationship, and work collaboratively with education unions to mitigate the effects of the crisis and adjust into the future.

The Education International Africa Region survey report on COVID-19 is available here.