Let’s Talk about Education in the Pandemic

  • About this Talk
  • With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have made the case that this crisis will only serve to further exacerbate divisions in an already unequal world.

    However, the effects go much deeper and cross different age groups. As a result of the stay-at-home order, children are now utilizing online learning tools to continue their education, but not all of them can benefit from the conditions and facilities of middle class homes, such as computers, internet and study space. As early as the 60s, many studies have documented the phenomenon of summer learning loss, noting that poorer students fall behind more in reading and maths compared to higher income students during the three month summer break. Kosovo has been in lockdown for just under three months.

    While many have praised the current use of technology from teachers as hopeful for the future, others claim that the education system wasn’t prepared to properly respond to these new circumstances. It is estimated that a whopping 10 percent of children — many of whom belong to marginalized groups like Roma, Egyptian and Ashkali communities — were unable to participate in online learning. Moreover, the already difficult situation for children with disabilities was exacerbated in light of the pandemic as a considerable percentage of this group live in poverty and therefore lack the facilities to continue their education from home — it was reported that some don’t even have TVs or telephones, so their teachers couldn’t even get in touch with them.

    With the mainstream focus on security, politics and the economy, other issues such as education and access to food and medicine have been neglected. But what must be done to bridge the broadening gap between students of different backgrounds? Can students who have lagged behind catch up with their peers by compensating for what they’ve missed out on during the pandemic? Will the alleged (albeit exclusive) success of online learning in Kosovo lead to the further integration of technology within the education system? And is there hope that Kosovo can mitigate the consequences of global problems in its local context?

    To get the discussion going, we have invited Isak Skenderi, executive director of NGO Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians; Dukagjin Pupovci, executive director of the non-profit organization Kosova Education Center (KEC); and Donjeta Kelmendi, executive director of the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF). The discussion will be moderated by Agnesa Qerimi from Kosovar Youth Council.

    Translation in English and Serbian will be provided through audio calls on Viber Groups created for each language, just send us your phone number and indicate the language which you require translation for and we will add you to one of the Groups.

    This event is implemented through the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy.

    Format: Discussion held on Zoom (streamed on Facebook Live). English and Serbian translation provided through Viber groups, with interpreters being present in the meeting with their microphones switched off, while translating to the audience through Viber group audio calls.

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  • About the speakers
  • Time:

    5:30 pm


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