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Community Help for Inclusive Learning and Development (CHILD): A Study of How Mobile Phones Were Used to Recruit and Equip Community Volunteers to Support Children’s Learning During Covid-19 School Closures in Zimbabwe.

Version 2 2021-09-13, 12:25
Version 1 2021-09-10, 12:41
online resource
posted on 2021-09-13, 12:25 authored by Tom PowerTom Power, Alison Buckler, Margaret EbubedikeMargaret Ebubedike, Martha Tengenesha, Mbuso Jama, America Ndlovu, Jane Mukoyi, Simbarashe Mubaira
By mid-March 2020, 107 governments around the world had instructed schools to close their doors to learners, still more closed clusters of schools in particular areas. Record numbers of children found themselves ‘out of school’. UNESCO predicts ‘devastating’ impacts from long-term disruption to education.

While many technology-centred initiatives were launched in response to Covid school closures, an equitable educational response must recognise that in low and middle-income countries most of these ‘out of school’ children are offline. In Sub-Saharan Africa, most disadvantaged children will not have access to TV or radio to continue their learning. How then to design alternative arrangements for girls’ learning and to maintain children’s identity as learners?

In this paper, we explore how a collective sense of responsibility for education was activated and supported in remote communities in Zimbabwe, and how this re-shaped local understanding of educational practices. We examine the experiences of those involved to address the overarching research question: ‘In the context of pandemic disease and widespread school closures across Sub-Saharan Africa, how can young people in disadvantaged rural communities be supported, locally and from a distance, to maintain engagement in educational activities?’


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Research Group

  • Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
  • Education Futures