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Title:The use of information and communications technology to continue instruction and professional development in rural Ghana during COVID-19 school lockdowns
Author(s):Arrington, Angelina
Director of Research:Davila , Liv
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Davila , Liv
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Pak, Yoon; Barro, Maimouna; Neville, Helen
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Emergency education
Sub-Saharan Africa
radio education
WhatsApp learning
disaster management
rural education
Abstract:The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused significant disruption to the continuity of instruction in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (referred to as SSA throughout this dissertation) (Africa CDC, 2020). School closures that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated SSA’s acute problems with their education systems, especially access to the human and financial resources to effectively train teachers and make education accessible and equitable to all students. Education in SSA has been recognized by education researchers and policy makers as one of the world’s most significant problems (Asongu & Odhiambo, 2019; Dembélé & Lefoka, 2007; UNESCO, 2011). The continuation of education is a critical component of school emergency management, as these efforts provide a continuity of learning in circumstances that disrupt attendance for students (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, 2013). In a joint statement of the African Union (AU) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, 2020) to the African education sector on the continuity of learning during COVID-19, the two organizations encouraged the development of digital connectivity throughout all regions in Africa, online learning, Internet safety, and the use of multiple modes of information and communications technology (ICT) including radio, television, podcasts, and e-learning, and teachers as facilitators and motivators of learning. This dissertation presents a case study based on my ongoing work with Semanhyia American School in rural Ghana as a teacher trainer, consultant, and mentor (the directors and staff at the school requested that I refer to the school by its name in this dissertation, as opposed to a pseudonym). This research study aims to identify key factors that influenced Semanhyia American School’s ongoing efforts to create viable solutions to continue curriculum planning, instructional delivery, and professional development during Ghana’s COVID-19 emergency school lockdowns using information and communications technology, including WhatsApp and local radio programming. A broader goal of this study is to recommend a course of action for viable emergency education protocols that can be initiated during future emergency and disaster situations and to influence policy to address the inequitable distribution of ICT resources in Ghana.
Issue Date:2021-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Angelina Arrington
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-01-12
Date Deposited:2021-08

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