Schooling without barriers: improving education in the West Bank and Gaza during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to school closures and disruptions affecting 1.3 billion children worldwide. This disruption in learning has considerable consequences now and well into the future, with negative impacts on the cognitive, academic, and socio-emotional development of students. It has also stalled or even reversed learning gains. Further, it has reduced the educational attainment of marginalized children such as refugees and the internally displaced, girls, and children with disabilities.
Nowhere are these challenges felt more acutely than in low-income and fragile countries like the West Bank and Gaza. Though the widespread school closures of the pandemic will eventually pass, the potential future emergencies on the horizon highlight a pressing need for evidence on effective approaches to distance learning and ways of addressing the negative consequences of school closures.
This project seeks to respond to this crisis by addressing the quality of education provided to children while out of school and by improving teachers’ ability to use online environments for education. The aim is to inform education policies, including content delivery, teacher training, and socialization in preparation for future emergencies.
iLOBs : an independent learning pathway
The Center for Continuing Education at Birzeit University identified high priority interventions in response to the COVID-19 crisis. These are important research areas that require significant investigation. The report covers distance learning units, called “iLOBs” (independent, interactive, internet-based Learning Objects) which were developed in response to lack of online educational interventions. The COVID-19 outbreak and abrupt disruption in educational systems globally, elevated a critical problem facing millions of displaced children as well as most children across the world. It is magnified in the Arab World because there is a severe shortage of quality Arabic educational content on-line.
Author(s): Center for Continuing Education, Birzeit University