The adverse effects of COVID19 are being felt in different sectors of the economy globally thus affecting the smooth functioning of socio-economic activities. The educational sector is one of the areas that has felt the brunt of the burden. In this context, a recent report by UNESCO has disclosed that 9 out of 10 children globally were unable to attend school due to the pandemic. The negative effects on the Ethiopian educational system are no different. This is because the Ethiopian Ministry of Education has revealed that close to 25 million young people were denied entry to educational establishments during the lockdown.
Even though the long-term consequences of the pandemic and its effects on children’s future employment is not yet clear, our organization sought to learn how school enrollment, registration, and social distancing measures were being implemented in the Country and the impacts they may have left on children. To this end, this project has tried to meet its goals, by conducting interviews with school administrators, parent associations and students, Governmental office employees, and interaction with local leaders and policymakers.
The final results have disclosed that the educational system, like many other countries, came under huge strain as a result of the pandemic. This has underlined how schools need to take action to strengthen their innovation and digitalization capacities. This understanding has forced schools to undertake audits and reform their curriculums. The pandemic has also put into context the non-academic functions schools provide, which were much harder to replicate in a home setting. Leaving aside such positive lessons learned, the pandemic has put under question the school’s financial security and their functional capacities.
Ethiopia will get to see the psychological and academic effects of school closures in the coming months and years. For this reason, more studies that focus on the assessment of the loss in school attainment and educational long-term performance are needed.