On March 19th, 2020 a circular from Federal Ministry of Education granted an approval for the closure of all school for an initial period of one (1) month commencing from Monday 23rd March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID19. This directive led to the closure of all the 715+ schools in the SEED Network.
UNESCO consolidated information on COVID-19’s global impact on education, with statistics that were hard to fathom. 180 countries with nationwide school closures affecting more than 1.5 billion learners. 87.8% of the global learner population is suddenly out of school (data assessed 26/03/2020).
From crisis experience like the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), 2008 economic recession and the 2014 Ebola outbreak, we know that after significant educational disruption, some learners will never return to the classroom. Girls are at greater risk when out of school and more vulnerable to sexual violence. Cases of teenage pregnancy more than doubled during school closures in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.
As everything unfolds we know the power of community. We will connect with others to share, learn and collaborate in the best interests of our schools. We remain committed to our vision, even in this season.
Mobilizing For Our New [Temporary] Reality
Once the directive to shut down schools was issued, SEED had to make some difficult decisions. Our first priority was to make sure our team are safe and well. Within a week, we commenced working remotely from home. While at home, we are focused on things like planning, researching and most importantly upskilling ourselves.
Our second priority was to support our schools. So far, we have shared verified health information and resources they can use for themselves and for their staff, parents and children. We have also deployed some basic tools and plans for remote coaching. This crisis has shown why fully deploying our School Transformation Platform is our top priority.
SEED’s immediate question during school closures remains in line with our vision to increase access to quality education: How will school closures affect access to education for millions of learners, especially those from low-income families?
To address this, SEED launched a COVID-19 Response Toolkit that will continue to evolve to support our schools and the wider education community. This toolkit will contain results from our planned COVID-19 Impact Survey, COVID-19 Response Guide For School Owners/Leaders, Uplifting Stories, Tools & Resources, Blog Posts, and other relevant information.
Are you interested in working with SEED to support schools in providing education for children from low-income families, especially in this crisis period? Please contact us.