The key points from each innovation in this report are presented as a summary in a table in the Appendix for easy reference. All innovations reported that they were significantly disrupted, which had a large impact on student learning. Their reliance on in person interaction before school closures made adapting to this crisis particularly challenging. However, three innovations had digital or virtual interaction prior to the school closures through: a native app, webinars and communication, and messaging applications.
Providing for disadvantaged children with limited access to resources was seen as the most significant challenge for some, while time and financing limitations were constraints from an organisational standpoint. The primary strategies to overcome these challenges resulted in an increased use of digital technologies in order to adapt their model for remote learning. These technological tools included: phone, radio, SMS, telecounseling and tele-learning hot-lines, developing bespoke online tools, video conferencing software (e.g. Zoom), messaging applications (e.g. WhatsApp), and creating webinar series. Some innovators went further than technology only strategies through physical in person support including personal visits for phycological, nutrition, and financial needs.
Most innovators either found little or a general impact on funding opportunities. Some innovators mentioned that their work with funders was postponed for the time being – perhaps because of a shift towards responding to COVID’s immediate challenges. Only BRAC Remote Play Labs found sufficient support to meet the funding challenges as a result of COVID.
All innovators agreed that this crisis presents an opportunity to rethink traditional education on a global level and push it further towards 21st century skills as well as possibilities to continue with hybrid learning models.
These responses represent a range of contexts, challenges, responses, and opportunities as a result of the COVID crisis and school closures. Each innovation experienced major shifts and adopted new methods to adapt to the challenges
they faced. These rapid changes to adapt articulated here are impressive, which have helped to ensure quality education that fosters creativity was continued during school closures in their context. We hope that these learnings may help other innovators, policy makers, educators, and leaders in the future.