COVID-Back to School Campaign

Eduwatch-Actionaid COVID Back to School Project
In response to the Government of Ghana's school reopening plan, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) and ActionAid Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding to monitor the implementation of the Ghana Education Service's approaches and strategies towards observing national and international protocols on school reopening within the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID Back to School Campaign partnership was focused on monitoring and documenting the lessons from Ghana's response, with the aim of sharing outcomes with the Ghana Education Service and other national and international stakeholders and governments in Africa to guide future school reopening plans. The project was undertaken in 200 schools across Ghana in partnership with Eduwatch Network Members in each region. The project monitored among others Health and Safety protocols, school re-opening reporting for girls, infrastructure, facilities and safety issues in school, while making recommendations on how to continuously improve upon Ghana's School Re-opening Plans and share lessons with our network of CSOs in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Congo, Ghana and South Africa.

Securing Educational Rights of Vulnerable Students in the COVID-19/Post COVID-19 Era (SERVE) Project
The outbreak of the Coronavirus in Ghana in March 2020 and subsequent closure of schools across the country exacerbated already existing inequalities in access to quality education. The closure of schools disrupted teaching and learning for 9.2 million children (from Kindergarten to Senior High School) and about 500,000 students in tertiary education. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communication moved swiftly to put together a plan to provide immediate and short term remote learning platforms and content through multimedia and online. The effect of these interventions is yet to be systematically studied considering that these platforms could only be accessed by students who have access to the infrastructure and equipment to learn virtually. UNICEF Ghana in a 2019 report notes that only 22% of households in Ghana have access to the internet while 15% have a computer. For a lot of girls and low income families, staying at home might meant that they stand the risk of being unable to return to school as they either got reintegrated into multiple household labour activities, became pregnant or were married off early. As the education sector geared up for a return to a physical teaching and learning environment, it was critical that stakeholders obtain a better appreciation of the impact of COVID-19 measures, particularly the Virtual Learning System (VLS) through empirical research study on the education of children at risk; those susceptible to dropping out, girls and children with disabilities to ensure they are properly reintegrated when school returns to normal.

In January 2021, CDD-Ghana in partnership with Eduwatch and NNED Ghana, with funding from Star-Ghana commenced a study in eight selected districts and regions to develop a framework for civil society advocacy for educational rights of vulnerable students in COVID and beyond. This framework aimed at enhancing educational rights of vulnerable students in COVID.
Expected Results of study included
1. Documented evidence of exclusion or risk of exclusion of vulnerable students from education during COVID-19.
2. Documented gaps in policy and institutional framework for delivering virtual learning to vulnerable students.
3. Documented ineffectiveness in accessing virtual learning programmes to meet learning needs of vulnerable children.

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