A message to esteemed education stakeholders

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak – warning alarm message. Photo Credit: Markus Spiske

Dear members of the ADEA education network,

It is our hope that you are safe and secure with your families and/or loved ones at this time of COVID-19, which is heavily negatively impacting the education system and teaching and learning at all levels globally.

We acknowledge and appreciate the measures that African governments and key institutions have instituted, with partner support, to ensure continuity of teaching and learning. These include the use of the mainstream media (national newspapers, radios and televisions) as well as digital programs, including online learning applications, and other communication tools.

We laud these efforts while at the same time appreciating their limitation in fully addressing issues such as inclusivity due to resource constraints in a number of countries and disadvantaged households in particular. 

ADEA continues to monitor the unfolding situation and stands ready to provide support in areas where it can.

Due to COVID-19, most of the planned activities by education stakeholders at national, regional, continental and global levels are either cancelled or postponed, and this will affect ADEA’s work, directly or indirectly, for this year and may be the years to come. 

Following close consultations with our member countries and partners, and in line with the decision of our host institution (the African Development Bank Group) and host country (Côte d’Ivoire), ADEA has taken the following decisions:

  • All staff at the Secretariat in Abidjan continue to work from home, engaging virtually with members of the ADEA network.
  • Cancellation of the face-to-face annual planning and coordination meeting with ICQN Coordinators and initiation of video conferencing sessions using existing infrastructure and online communication tools.
  • Postponement of our second Early Childhood Development (ECD) Leadership Capacity Building workshop that was expected to take place in Dakar in March 2020, in close consultation with the respective Ministries in Senegal and Mauritius. We are now developing an Action Plan to keep engaging with countries and partners as we wait to re-engage the host country once the situation improves. 
  • Continuous preparation of other major events planned for the year as we monitor the evolution of the current situation. These include the Executive Committee meeting (Abidjan/virtual, June); Learning Poverty workshop in Abidjan (Abidjan, June) being organized jointly with the World Bank targeting; High Level Policy Dialogue Forum on Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD) and the 4th Industrial Revolution (Mauritius, July); ICT in Education workshop (Kigali, August) on the margins of the Innovating Education in Africa Expo; Strategic Framework Validation Workshop for the Inter Country Quality Node (ICQN) on Higher Education and Scientific Research (Abidjan, October).  
  • Engagement with beneficiary countries using online communications, as much as possible, for activities under the second pillar of our Strategic Plan (2018-2022). We hope to proceed with interventions on the ground once the situation improves.

ADEA fully supports all measures, which are continually under review, by governments and partners to minimize the risk of COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with partners to identify or disseminate best practices and share lessons learned in delivering education and training remotely.