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© 2022 Opportunity International Education Finance functions under its US and UK affiliates. Opportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692). Opportunity International United Statesis a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Reflecting on the International Day of Education

by Catherine O'Shea

Sometimes the answers to simple, fundamental questions are in fact the most compelling. As part of International Day of Education 2021 we asked three of our Opportunity EduFinance staff to reflect on the importance of education in their own lives and the lives of others. What role has education had in your life? Jane Aik, Technical Assistance Advisor, Africa:  I reflect on the quote by the legendary Nelson Mandela, that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” I…

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What we know (and don’t know) about School Reopening Plans

by Catherine O'Shea

    “When will schools reopen in-person classes?”   “Will parents send children back to school?”  “How will learners catch up after so much lost time?”  “Will all students have a school to return to?”   The questions are known and have been echoed around the world, as countries have wrestled with balancing student and educator safety amidst an ongoing pandemic against the massive risks of learning loss. The answers are more complex, shift on a sometimes daily basis, and…

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INDIA: What rural parents & schools are saying about COVID-19 impacts

by Sakshi Sodhi, Hannah Hilali and Catherine O’Shea

As countries shut down and schools closed around the world in March 2020, India was given a matter of hours warning before going into a strict lockdown. To assess how households and schools were impacted by this lockdown and the rippling effects of Covid-19, the EduFinance Technical Assistance team carried out a detailed series of surveys starting in October 2020. In total, the team surveyed 2,088 parents from rural households and 442 affordable non-state school leaders, segmented by four regions…

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4 Major Findings: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Schools, Teachers & Parents

by Opportunity EduFinance

As schools began closing across markets Opportunity EduFinance operates in early March 2020, EduFinance began a series of market research reassessments with the aim of better understanding how affordable non-state schools, teachers and parents were being affected. These stakeholder surveys also highlighted what responses financial institutions could take to alleviate some of the ensuing financial pressures that are being placed on non-state education systems.   In the following blog we examine four…

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More girls drop out and schools close due to Covid-19 in Pakistan

by Ommara Raza Ali

Parents, Teachers & School Proprietors on the impacts of COVID-19 in Pakistan  The intertwined impacts of Covid-19 and economic crises are severely harming the livelihoods of numerous market segments in Pakistan, especially daily wage earners, low-income households, small scale businesses, start-ups, teachers and school proprietors. The health crisis has been enormous, with close to 400,000 confirmed cases in the country and 7,500 deaths to date. As Pakistan grapples with Covid-19, the economic…

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‘I have seen a mindset change’ - EduQuality staff reflect on school leaders’ response to Pathways to Reopening

by Catherine O'Shea

  Over the past ten months, the EduQuality team of Opportunity EduFinance has developed a range of ways to support schools while they have been closed. This has included our Covid-19 Response Toolkit which is also being shared through the UNESCO Global Education Coalition. As part of the toolkit, the team designed and delivered the Pathways to Reopening guide, which is available in six languages and discussed in engaging podcasts recorded by our Education Specialist teams from five countries…

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Perspectives on Remote Learning during Covid-19 from School Leaders Around the World

by Rabia Shafi, Azra Qazi, Andrea Camacho, Kofi Boakye, Innocent Masengo, Catherine O'Shea and Robinah Zawedde,

Globally, most schools shut down in March  2020. In disbelief, school stakeholders were worried about the uncertainties which have now lasted 6 months.  At the thought of losing their livelihood, the school leaders experienced a mixture of emotions and did not know what the future had in store for them.  Most leaders shared that they werer not  prepared for the effects,  such as  interrupted learning,  compromised nutrition, child protection concerns, and consequent economic cost…

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Financing Education Technology in Asia Pacific

by Hannah Hilali

At the peak of Covid-19 forced school closures, it was estimated that 1.5 billion children were out of school in 165 countries, equating to 87% of the global school-aged population.[1] Governments and education companies reacted rapidly with more than 90% of ministries of education enacting policies to provide digital and broadcast remote learning.[2] However, according to a recent UNICEF study, at least 463 million students (31% of students worldwide) have been cut off from education and cannot…

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'Conducting online classes in rural areas is a big challenge because of the digital divide'. A perspective from a school in Haryana, India

by Yasmeen Hossain

  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented difficult challenges for school leaders. Schools that are particularly located in rural areas are facing problems both in terms of financial impact as well as the digital divide. We interviewed Mr. Pawan Kumar, School Director of New Adarsh Public School in Karnal, Haryana, India and his Vice Principal, Mr. Devendra about the challenges that they and their team members have faced during this uncertain time. Starting New Adarsh Public School Can you share how…

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Ramping up EduFinance e-learning for financial institutions

by Catherine O'Shea and Antonella Abategiovanni

When the global COVID-19 pandemic closed down travel in many countries in March 2020, the EduFinance Technical Assistance team saw an opportunity to support financial institutions that were attempting to rapidly transition to a temporary remote workforce. Recognizing that in-person professional development training for staff would not be possible for an extended period, the team decided to put pilot e-learning modules that were in development online and make them widely available as quickly as possible.…

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