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A Resilient ICT4D Approach to ECO Countries’ Education Response during COVID-19 Pandemic

You can find the published ‘research in progress report’ here.

According to the United Nations, schools’ closures have impacted up to 99 per cent of the student population in low and lower-middle-income countries. This research-in-progress report introduces a project on Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) measures in the ten member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) with a focus on the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in primary and secondary education levels. The project takes a comparative approach within a resilient ICT-for-Development (ICT4D) framework, where the coping, endurance, and return to pre-crisis functionalities in education systems are studied. The preliminary research demonstrates the impacts of the country’s general COVID-19 strategy, the education system in place, and digital infrastructure’s level of development on instigating distance-learning platforms. The paper further shows that in addition to access to stable internet connections and digital devices, other infrastructural factors such as access to food, electricity and health services play a significant role in education response planning and implementation. Human factors in the education system, such as teacher training for the usage of ICTs, digital literacy of students and parents, and already existing vulnerabilities in the education system pose challenges to crisis management in the education sector. Other socio-political factors such as attitudes towards girls’ education, level of corruption, institutional capacity, and international sanctions or available funds also make the education system less resilient.

 

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