About the KIX Observatory

 

Context

 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused tremendous disruption in education systems globally. On the African continent, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 has exacerbated the management of the already weak education systems and the widening inequalities due to poverty, prejudicial social norms and stereotypes and gender discrimination, persistent conflicts, inadequate infrastructure and insensitive and unresponsive policies and pedagogies. All this particularly affected the most vulnerable groups of learners in a region where more than 100 million children and adolescents do not have access to education. Indeed, before the pandemic, girls already recorded the lowest school enrollment rates, as well as completion rates, the gap of which increased with educational level (parity index of the gross enrollment rate is from 0.96 in primary0.90 in lower secondary and 0.84 in upper secondary). Based on feedback from country engagements between April and July 2020, teachers have not been adequately prepared and supported with the necessary techno-pedagogical skills to work remotely with learners, especially those with special needs. Despite pre-existing shortages of qualified workforce, a growing number of teachers are seeking help for depression due to loss of income, particularly those engaged by school management boards. Education authorities are also grappling with learning assessment, how to balance between continuous assessments and examinations. This is in addition to the limited distribution of learning materials to those unable to access lessons via radio, television or digital platforms. With the need to cope with health regulations for the reopening of schools, managing large class sizes while keeping social distancing remains a headache as most countries find it difficult to construct additional classrooms and health facilities due to limited funding, as part of the ongoing recovery efforts.

 
   

Overview

 

In this context of health crisis, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) are facilitating the development and management of the KIX Observatory on COVID-19 responses in educational systems of 41 GPE African countries. To this end, a Consortium composed of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the African Union’s International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA), with technical support from the African population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), is overseeing the implementation of the KIX Observatory.

African governments have so far instituted national measures and strategies to ensure minimum disruption of learning and children well-being due to the consequences of COVID 19 shutdown of schools. Moreover, the Global community pleads for collective action as a must in order to share information and experiences among countries and co-create new knowledge to avoid societies and economies to feel the negative impact on long after COVID-19.

 
   

Role and Vision

 

This initiative intends to delve into a deeper analysis of some of these issues, focusing on primary and secondary education level and categorizing them under two streams relating to the operation of education systems and the well-being of the learner due to the negative consequences of school closures apart from learning disruptions.

The Observatory will avail the evidence of promising policy and practice responses as well as successful initiatives. Lessons and recommendations drawn from the evidence will be developed into guides and shared through the KIX Observatory, together with the evidence, with policymakers and other education stakeholders to inform their decision making. This information will also be reflected in the KIX Hubs and other partners’ knowledge sharing platforms.

Therefore, the envisioned role of the KIX Observatory is to act as a catalyst and a one-stop-shop for the learning and sharing of information and knowledge to promote policies, strategies, and practices that have been proven to effectively meet the needs created by COVID-19 and to strengthen the resilience of education systems in Africa to face possible future pandemics or crises.

 
   

Objective

 

The overall objective of this 18-month project is to collect three pieces of information:

  1. policy and practice responses in relation to the key issues observed by the observatory;
  2. emerging research on these key issues; and
  3. COVID-19 education related-innovations/interventions that are being tested and evaluated on thematic aspects aligned with national and regional priorities.

These documents will be analyze, synthesize, and disseminate in a user- friendly manner to share information and evidence with the 41 GPE member countries in Africa on COVID-19 policy and practice responses in primary and secondary education – with a deliberate focus on gender, equity, and inclusion, to inform ongoing interventions.