Pakistan Topic Brief: Providing Distance Learning to Hard-to-reach Children

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Pakistan Topic Brief: Providing Distance Learning to Hard-to-reach Children
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in mass school closures across the world. It is expected that the closures in low- and -middle-income countries (LMICs) will have long-term negative consequences on education and also on broader development outcomes. Countries face a number of obstacles to effectively delivering alternative forms of education. Obstacles include limited experience in facing such challenges, limited teacher digital and pedagogical capacity, and infrastructure constraints related to power and connectivity. Furthermore, inequalities in learning outcomes are expected to widen within LMICs due to the challenges of implementing alternative modes of education in remote, rural or marginalised communities. It is expected that the most marginalised children will feel the most substantial negative impacts on their learning outcomes. Educational technology (EdTech) has been identified as a possible solution to address the acute impact of school closures through its potential to provide distance education. In this light, the DFID Pakistan team requested the EdTech Hub develop a topic brief exploring the use of EdTech to support distance learning in Pakistan. Specifically, the team requested the brief explore ways to provide distance education to children in remote rural areas and urban slums. The DFID team also requested that the EdTech Hub explore the different needs of those who have previously been to school in comparison to those who have never enrolled, with reference to EdTech solutions. In order to address these questions, this brief begins with an overview of the Pakistan education landscape. The second section of the brief explores how four modes of alternative education — TV, interactive radio instruction, mobile phones and online learning — can be used to provide alternative education to marginalised groups in Pakistan. Multimodal distance-learning approaches offer the best means of providing education to heterogeneous, hard-to-reach groups. Identifying various tools that can be deployed to meet the needs of specific population segments is an important part of developing a robust distance-learning approach. With this in mind, this section highlights examples of tools that could be used in Pakistan to support a multimodal approach that reaches the most hard-to-reach learners. The third and final section synthesises the article’s findings, presenting recommendations to inform Pakistan’s COVID-19 education response.<br> <br> This topic brief is available on Google Docs.
Report Number
Report Type
EdTech Hub Helpdesk Response
EdTech Hub
17 June 2020
Short Title
Pakistan Topic Brief
Call Number
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, Open Access
DOI: 10.53832/edtechhub.0026 ZenodoArchiveID: 5652066 previousZenodoArchiveID: 3885606 previousshortDOI: 10/ghgnfw previousDOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3885606 shortDOI: 10/ghgnfw
Baloch, I., Kaye, T., Koomar, S., & McBurnie, C. (2020). Pakistan Topic Brief: Providing Distance Learning to Hard-to-reach Children (EdTech Hub Helpdesk Response No. 17). EdTech Hub.
EdTech Hub Publications
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