While global evidence indicates higher than projected learning losses arising from COVID-19, no systematic evidence is available on the impact that school closures have had on students in MENA. Further, there was not enough capacity to monitor and collect evidence of continued
According to the World Bank, about 37 million were unable to learn remotely during the lockdown. There were a lack of devices and an internet connection; in fact, many did not have access to TV or radio.
Those belonging to low- the income group were severely impacted. Significant dropout rates were seen among the girls. In addition, the region saw conflicts and poverty.
Therefore, it was harder for children to attend the lessons. It is known that the Mena region had one of the highest proportions of children who lacked remote learning.
In a report, it was found that 31 per cent of the children had no access to remote learning. The Mena region was already suffering from poverty and conflict. The COVID 19 pandemic further exaggerated the problem.
It was seen that the longer period children were out of school, they had a greater risk of exposing the kids to labour and early marriage.
However, there is no alternative for children present at the school. If they stay out of school for long, then it will be complicated for them to catch up. There also goes this saying that school is not just about learning and making friends and playing sports. It is also expected that those who did not have access to remote learning might earn less in the future.
It was also revealed that the loss in the lifetime earnings in the Mena nation was expected to be greater than in the low-income country as the earnings were high.
The projections showed that the average child in the high-income Mena nation lost a significant part of their earnings due to disruption in Education. The education system fails to provide young people with the skills they need in the current job market.
The International Day of Education is celebrated to spread the role of peace and development. Countries will not succeed unless there is inclusive and equitable Education. How Education is being imparted is now rethought in many ways. New social contracts are now being forged, and digital transformation is reoriented to bring inclusion and equity. We need a good education for sustainable development. We have to bring environmental Education into the curriculum.
The International day of Education was celebrated on January 24, 2022, and it was based on the theme Changing Course, Transforming Education. It was suggested by UNESCO that transformation in Education needs to balance the relationships with everyone around.
Education must be able to breakthrough opportunities and cater to concerns related to equity, inclusion and democratic participation.
More than 72 million primary school children were pushed into learning poverty which implies that they were unable to read and understand a simple text. This was according to the new World Bank Reports. A new version of learning and investment policies was highlighted.
There has been a global learning crisis due to the pandemic. Everyone realizes the future of learning, and the vision must guide everyone. Through Education, countries must focus on providing equitable, effective and resilient education systems. All the kids must be in a position to find joy in learning.
Investments in Education must also follow specific guidelines, and technology must be a major tool to bring a resilient system. Everyone must try and reimagine the way Education is being delivered.
Students must be able to get their full learning capabilities and earning potential. It is essential to sustain ling-tern economic growth.
There are more than half of the children worldwide are deprived of Education. Strong visionary and bold actions are required by policymakers and stakeholders to turn the global crisis solution into something better.
The education policy must be put in place with the right purpose and rigour.
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Stakeholders around the globe are trying to turn any crisis into a boom. Therefore, any education system must be comprehensive. Students received shocks when the pandemic shook the nation. In April 2020, almost 1.6 billion students felt the negative impact of the global crisis.
It was noted that there was unprecedented global economic contraction and the marginalized sector was the worst hit.
Remote learning materials were not available to children having disabilities, ethnic minorities, refugees and those coming from displaced populations.
The education system was forced to implement innovation, and there were changes in the learning patterns at large. There should be multimodal remote learning approaches that can include radio, TV, mobile, and other printed materials.
A digital divide was also seen. There were problems in connectivity, and inequalities in parental support were also seen.
There were learning inequalities in many regions. The education system needs support from different levels. It should be well managed and continuous process.
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There has been a strong emphasis on child development. It should be well supported, and students must be better prepared. Teachers took an effective and valued approach towards diverse learnings. Practical training in instruction is essential.
Every student must be taught at a different level, and all the learning resources must be blended. It should support the pedagogical practices catering to students ta different levels. The education system should be well managed, and an effective educational bureaucracy is always required.
There should be reform efforts in all the policies. In any high performing system, there must be a complete focus on learning for all children.
EdTech is now at the forefront, and countries have realized the power of education technology. All the learning experiences must be enriched and managed effectively across all the verticals.
During the pandemic, the Mena region saw poor internet infrastructure and many were deprived of remote learning.
In modern learning, there is more focus on memorizing than building skills like critical thinking, communication, and analysis. There is a significant impact on the child’s learning ability when they start early Education in the Arab region.
As per UNICEF, the economic potential of women and girls in the region was blighted due to early marriage.
It was noted that Yemen, Iraq and Sudan have the highest rates of girls dropping out. It must be made mandatory by the government to set the minimum age of marriage as 18. There should not be any exceptions to the rules.
One in five girls in the Mena region were married even before they turned 18. The pandemic is also known to compound the pandemic compound refugee crisis.
Ways to fight the education crisis in the Arab region
- Incorporate broad, sustainable practices and policies. Schools and education systems must be able to provide blended in-person and multimodal remote learning.
- The teachers must be able to support learning and personalized instructions in different formats.
- Learning must happen by using different mechanisms and identifying the use of different tools which can be used.
- The government must identify how the children can be best supported to study well and avoid the risk of dropping out of falling behind.
There have been global practices done by countries to support the different formats of Education. The World Bank is known to support the appropriate, cost-effective use of EdTech to expand the access and improvement in learnings from students of different backgrounds.
Arab countries should be well funded to develop the fast and broad action plans. The countries must be able to strengthen their response to the pandemic. The health intervention related concerns in the education sector must also be considered.
The reports showed that there were widened inequalities for children and youth. Digital disparities were seen in the learning outcomes. There was long term harm to the children and the youth. But it was also noticed that there was insufficient capacity to monitor and collect evidence through remote learning and other measures.
The Covid related learning losses are enormous in the middle east the potential learning recommendations must be improved. The children must have a protective environment to learn, thrive and grow.
So, we can say that there was a crisis within a crisis.
The countries in the region are facing severe impact, and the only path toward recovery must be inclusive. A transformation is required to recover and accelerate the transformation. The Arab region needs to work with development partners to build a comprehensive education system.
It must be resilient and effective so that all the students can avail quality learning. There have been consequences on the student’s mental health and well-being. Many children are already vulnerable to socialization and labour market participation. The losses in Education are expected to be very high.
Author Bio:Rose Haughes is a teacher at the University of Perth. He is also a part of MyAssignmenthelp.com and likes to mentor students to achieve their educational goals. In his leisure time, Rose Haughes listening to music and involves himself in painting.