The top 20 GPE blog posts of 2020

Re-discover the 20 most read blogs of the past 12 months published on the GPE website. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on education systems are the topics that interested most our readers.

December 22, 2020 by GPE Secretariat
6 minutes read
Primary School Tobongisa in Kinshasa, DR Congo. Thérèse Nsuka, 11, washes her hands before going to class on the first day of school.
Primary School Tobongisa in Kinshasa, DR Congo. Thérèse Nsuka, 11, washes her hands before going to class on the first day of school.

GPE’s 2020 year in blogs was dominated by content on COVID-19, and for good reason: the pandemic shut down most school systems in March this year and is still keeping millions of children out of school or with limited access to remote learning.

As we have been doing over the past few years, we have compiled the list of the blogs that gathered the most views this year. Taken together, our blogs have reached more than 840,000 readers in 2020.

We hope you will enjoy discovering them or re-reading them. We send also a huge THANK YOU to all our blog contributors, who have helped us produce a total of 170 blogs this year.

1. 3 recommendations to support school leaders during the coronavirus pandemic
By Sameer Sampat and Azad Oommen

Whether they are called headmasters, principals or directors, school leaders play an important motivating and coordinating role in education systems’ COVID-19 responses. Here are our recommendations to support them in this critical role.

2. School, interrupted: 4 options for distance education to continue teaching during COVID-19
by Mary Burns

Take a look at the four most common distance technology for contractors, donors and educators who find themselves needing to explore distance-learning options, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Education in the time of COVID-19
by Justin Van Fleet

As of March 18, 849 million children and students have been forced out of schools and universities in a total of 113 countries. Read three recommendations on how education can be continued during a global health crisis and play a role in mitigating the virus.

4. 7 ways to help teachers succeed when schools reopen
by the International Teacher Task Force and UNESCO

Teachers play a critical role in student learning. Listening to their needs, protecting their safety and well-being, and helping them adapt their approaches to teaching and learning appear to be pivotal to help them succeed when they return to school after the COVID19 crisis. Here are 7 ways to help teachers succeed when schools reopen.

5. The impact of COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks on international students
by Peter Anti Partey

How can we ensure that students can continue learning even in the face of global health crises? Changing the structure and format of education might offer a solution.

6. Education during and post COVID-19: The role of civil society
by the GCE Secretariat

Thoughts on how civil society organizations can work to make sure that governments seize the opportunities to positively transform the education sector during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. An inclusive response to COVID-19: Education for children with disabilities
by Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo

What if the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic served as an opportunity to re-think how emergency education planning can be inclusive of children with disabilities? Isn’t this global crisis presenting a unique opportunity to rethink the need for accessible and inclusive education? Here are some of the ways we can move the Post COVID-19 agenda forward to make education truly disability inclusive.

8. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Rwanda builds a resilient education system
by Subrata Dhar

In recent years, Rwanda’s education system has experienced impressive growth, especially in expanding access to school. However, the novel coronavirus threatens to reverse these gains if Rwanda doesn’t take bold action. GPE is supporting the country to ensure learning continues while building resilience for future crises.

9. Mitigating COVID-19 impacts and getting education systems up and running again: Lessons from Sierra Leone
by Ed Davis and Chris Berry

Reflections on some of the lessons from the Sierra Leone Ebola education response that could be relevant for countries facing shutdowns of their education systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

10. 8 tracking tools on COVID-19 data for education
by Marc-Antoine Percier and Tongai Makoni

At the onset of the pandemic, several organizations began collecting and publishing data on how the crisis would affect the delivery of public services, including education. In this blog, we present the different resources and tools that have been produced so far.

11. The 7 deadly sins of donor-funded teacher professional development
by Mary Burns

Well-meaning development actors can still make mistakes in how they support teacher training in developing countries. Find out what these 7 sins of omission and commission are and how we could avoid them.

12. Africa supports reading and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
By Lily Nyariki, and Stefano De Cupis 

In light of the current health crisis, today more than ever before, access to quality reading material and learning is key as millions of children throughout Africa can no longer go to school. A fitting celebration for World Book and Copyright Day.

13. How to rapidly improve learning outcomes at system level?
By Luis Crouch

Given the learning crisis, there is an increased interest in improving support to countries wishing to move along on the learning and quality agenda. Here are examples of approaches that have proven effective in Africa and Latin America and which can be applied to other contexts.

14. Financing our future: 3 ways to transform education spending in our response to COVID-19
By Alice Albright

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the biggest disruption to education that the world has ever seen. At its height, 9 out of 10 students in the world were out of school, and today 1.2 billion students are affected. If we don’t act now to safeguard financing for education, there is a very real risk that we will fall even further behind.

15. The future of teaching: 3 key takeaways from the Teacher Task Force Forum
By Gerd-Hanne Fosen and Abdelrahman Almedaires

To develop the skills now needed by learners, teaching practices need to evolve. Here are 3 takeaways on teaching practices for the future.

16. How my life has changed since schools closed in Ghana
By Elizabeth Ampomah

14-year-old Elizabeth describes how her daily life has been upended since schools closed in Ghana to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. She is able to continue learning at home with the help of teachers, other students, and support from her parents. But she looks forward to going back to school in September.

17. Beyond reopening schools: A practical vision for a stronger education after COVID-19
By Emiliana Vegas and Rebecca Winthrop

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in at least one positive thing: a much greater appreciation for the importance of public schools. Let’s seize this moment and chart a vision for how education can emerge stronger from this global crisis.

18. Afghanistan: Continuing literacy and non-formal education for youth and adults during the COVID-19 crisis
By Rie Koarai, Mohammad Yasin Samim and Rafiullah Shahpoor

Despite improvements in education in Afghanistan since 2002, the recent gains are at risk given the COVID-19 pandemic. To address the current crisis, the government has developed a comprehensive education response plan to ensure youth and adults keep learning.

19. 4 lessons from evaluations of the education response to Ebola
By Joe Hallgarten

This third post in the series about learning from the education response after the Ebola outbreak in West Africa looks at what some of the evaluations have shown, and highlight 4 findings that can help today’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

20. Addressing the impact of COVID-19 on girls and women’s education in Africa
By Rita Bissonauth

Girls and women face gender-based violence in schools and university, but a considerable number also find school to be a safe haven when they face abuse and poverty at home. Post-COVID education needs to rely on more sustainable and holistic measures that go beyond just accessing education, but also address the obstacles encountered by girls and young women in accessing quality education and completing the school cycle.

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