Sierra Leone’s Education Data Hub is designed to make school-level data more useful in decision making. Nine months into its launch, MBSSE and DSTI were keen to understand who was using the Data Hub, the kinds of decisions it informed, and where improvements were needed to ensure that non-technical users, including policymakers, teachers, parents, and students could access and use the data. These are critical questions for MBSSE and DSTI to be asking, not only to inform the continuous development of the Data Hub but to achieve the goal of data actually being used to inform decisions that have an impact on learning outcomes. 

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Last week the EdTech Hub, #NextGenEdu, and Education Development Trust convened experts, policymakers, and implementers to discuss their visions for a reimagined approach to learning in the wake of coronavirus. 

The invited speakers were:

During a lively online discussion, we asked panellists and audience members “What must any government response to reopening schools include?” The answers were enlightening and sparked plenty of debate. 

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by Rachel Chuang, Tom Kaye, Saalim Koomar, Chris McBurnie, and Caitlin Moss Coflan

Regular readers will know about our Helpdesk, the on-demand support service we provide for FCDO advisers and World Bank staff to help them make evidence-informed decisions.

Since the onset of coronavirus, the Helpdesk team has responded to requests from 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to review and provide input on various COVID-19 response documents. Below we share a list of nine takeaways.

Most of these takeaways came out of the coronavirus-specific context, but they have wider relevance than just pandemic response. They’re good ideas for any education decision-makers to consider, at any time.

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By Louis Major & Gill A. Francis

With schools around the world closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been undertaking a series of ‘rapid evidence reviews’ to help education decision-makers respond effectively. These reviews aim to provide evidence-based summaries on specific areas of EdTech. In this post, we look at the role of technology in supporting personalised learning.

What do we mean by personalised learning? 

As with so many concepts in education, there is no universal definition of ‘personalised learning’. In our rapid evidence review we define this as “the ways in which technology enables or supports learning based upon particular characteristics of relevance or importance to learners”.

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By Abeba Taddese

We have just produced rapid scans of the EdTech landscape in 11 countries: Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The scans are based primarily on desk research and offer a glimpse into the countries’ EdTech ecosystems. They examine enabling factors for EdTech from a holistic systems perspective but are by no means exhaustive. Given how rapidly the use of educational technology is evolving, we expect we’ll be updating these scans periodically.

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By Asma Rabi

COVID-19 presents a significant challenge to the education system in Afghanistan. School closures have turned a spotlight on access to education and inequalities across the country. As in countries around the world, the speed of these closures and the rapid move to distance learning has allowed little time for policy-makers to come up with quick solutions to the problem. Studies are already suggesting that school closures may have a negative impact on the country’s educational system.

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by Md. Afzal Hossain Sarwar (a2i), Iqbal Hossain (UNICEF Bangladesh) and Tom Kaye (EdTech Hub)

In recent months, the EdTech Hub has produced a range of documents to support and guide countries as they develop and implement plans to help students keep learning during school closures. Some of the work we have produced includes:

In this post, The EdTech Hub joined up with Md. Afzal Hossain Sarwar from a2i and Iqbal Hossain from UNICEF Bangladesh to highlight how Bangladesh has so far responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned along the way.  #

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by Jenn Cotter Otieno, Eric Kimenyi and Tom Kaye

As countries around the world rapidly respond to the educational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic many countries have begun to leverage technology to provide educational continuity. We at the EdTech Hub are working with many countries to help them design interventions to support learning during this crisis. The first question we are asked by our counterparts in these countries is: How can we design an effective COVID-19 education sector response plan?

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As schools began to close earlier in the year, at the EdTech Hub we started to look at how governments pivoted to distance learning, with a number of country case studies exploring this shift. While the full case studies will be released soon, this blog gives an overview of the first of these into India’s response.

The onset of COVID-19 dealt a huge blow to the Indian education system —  one of the largest in the world. In this blog we ask: How has the system responded? What technologies have been put in place to support distance learning?

Over the last months, the Hub has been collaborating with the Central Square Foundation (CSF) to document the Indian governments’ education response to COVID-19, particularly the use of technology to support distance learning at the primary and lower secondary level.  

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