What are the lessons learned from supporting education for marginalised girls that could be relevant for EdTech responses to COVID-19 in lower- and middle-income countries?

Summary of Report

Scope of study

  • This report provides a rapid evidence summary of the impact of school closures on marginalised girls and presents strategies which involve elements of education technology to mitigate these negative impacts.
  • In considering the broader evidence on what works in supporting marginalised girls’ education, this report focuses on those that could be facilitated, through use of education technology, to support continuation of girls’ learning in a context of school closures and to support their return to school once they reopen.
  • Given that the most marginalised girls have very little access to education technology and that this access will be further limited by school closures, this report includes strategies that require some face-to-face contact (for example, home visits, girls’ club meetings), that can be facilitated or monitored using technology.
  • Evidence on how education technology solutions can support learning among marginalised groups (including children with disabilities, special educational needs, and populations affected by conflict and crisis) during the Covid-19 pandemic is covered in other papers in this series (see #3 and #4). This paper, therefore, focuses in particular at addressing the gendered barriers to learning experienced by girls.

Key Themes

School closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic threaten the education of millions of girls. Without urgent action, gains made in girls’ education over recent decades could be reversed. Strategies shown to be effective for the education of marginalised girls can be adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic context using appropriate technology. These include:

  • mobile cash transfers
  • providing girls with devices, connections and data as part of a distance education package
  • media campaigns supporting a return to school and promoting the economic returns to education for girls

Gender considerations need to be included in the design and production of content for distance education courses which use technology. Strategies likely to be effective at increasing learning for girls include:

  • ensuring a good representation of females among presenters and producers of content
  • supporting group learning, high-engagement learning, real-world learning and project-based learning
  • ensuring girls have access to safe spaces (virtual or physical) where they can interact and learn together
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