With schools closed around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic and more than a billion deprived of education, there has been ongoing conversations on how we can keep children learning so no child is left behind. Many schools have resulted to distance learning but for many vulnerable children, online solutions are not the answer. Children from low-income communities do not have access to Internet and devices required. For some, even solutions offered on TV may seem too complex as many communities suffer power outages.
Radio school seems to be the most appropriate for many children from low-income communities. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, the high school students whose final exams got postponed because of COVID-19 crisis are the same whose entry to secondary school was delayed by the Ebola crisis six years ago where they were out-of-school for 10 months. They were able to deploy distance learning radio solutions. But how do we know if any of these distance learning solutions were effective.
One size does not fit all. What is needed at this point is to get our schools to be able to select which model of distance learning works for their students. Developing the T.R.E.E. framework is to help them achieve learning effectiveness, whatever model is being utilized: High-Tech, Low-Tech or Zero-Tech.
The T.R.E.E. Framework
In evaluating any learning solution, SEED has developed a simple framework for its schools to help them ensure effectiveness. The T.R.E.E. framework is simple and easy to use.
Teach – Share the content using the appropriate pedagogy.
Reach – The appropriate medium must be used to get to your target audience e.g. Online, TV, Radio, SMS, Learning Packets, etc.
Engage – Feedback from the children to clarify if they understand what has been taught.
Evaluate – Testing if learning has taken place.
T.R.E.E. It Out
Whatever solution we choose to deploy, whether it be Online, TV, Radio, SMS or Learning Packets, schools should endeavor all activities covers the elements of the T.R.E.E. framework.