Centre for Online and Distance Education

De-colonising digital education: Bridging the great divide

COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have disproportionately affected those in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The closure of educational establishments forced students into the domestic realm, ostensibly to continue their education digitally. For many students in LMICs, this was a difficult, if not impossible goal.  Those who needed educational support the most suffered its removal most acutely. Those with learning difficulties and/or impairments became increasingly isolated.  Female students were pushed back into the domestic sphere that education had promised a route out of.

This joint event organised by London International Development Centre (LIDC) with the University of London Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE) and the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) considers how COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have disproportionately affected those in low- and middle-income countries and how those who needed educational support the most suffered its removal most acutely. 

De-colonising digital education: Bridging the great divide

COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have disproportionately affected those in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The closure of educational establishments forced students into the domestic realm, ostensibly to continue their education digitally. For many students in LMICs, this was a difficult, if not impossible goal.  Those who needed educational support the most suffered its removal most acutely. Those with learning difficulties and/or impairments became increasingly isolated.  Female students were pushed back into the domestic sphere that education had promised a route out of.

This joint event organised by London International Development Centre (LIDC) with the University of London Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE) and the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) considers how COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have disproportionately affected those in low- and middle-income countries and how those who needed educational support the most suffered its removal most acutely. 

Price
Free
Registration URL
https://lshtm.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4kfRCRYIRLu6xKIyvAEMtw#/registration
Event dates
, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM GMT
Event type
Colloquium
Contact
code@london.ac.uk

The closure of educational establishments forced students into the domestic realm, ostensibly to continue their education digitally. For many students in LMICs, this was a difficult, if not impossible goal.  Those who needed educational support the most suffered its removal most acutely. Those with learning difficulties and/or impairments became increasingly isolated.  Female students were pushed back into the domestic sphere that education had promised a route out of. Around the world, gender violence and teenage pregnancies spiked during pandemic lockdowns.  In previously-colonised countries with poorly-resourced educational infrastructure, many simply did not have the tools (laptops, broadband, electricity – and the finance with which to pay for these) that were necessary for digital education. Many students came under pressure to earn money to help feed their families. Meanwhile, those charged with educating students faced this task while also carrying the burdens of being care-givers for their own families and communities.

Growing inequalities highlight the need to ‘decolonise’ education. Conversations on decolonisation/decoloniality that had started pre-COVID-19 had almost always been founded on patriarchal and neo-colonial assumptions that ‘western’ academics and policymakers know what is best for those low-resource settings such as Africa, Asia and Latin America. Thus, these conversations fall along geographical axes mirroring paths laid down during colonialism.  As we emerge from lockdowns into a ‘new normal,’ and with inequalities now greater than pre-pandemic, should we now be challenging the normalisation of inequalities, especially around digital education? Join us for this important conversation.

Speakers

Dr Christine Thuranira-McKeever (Royal Veterinary College – RVC) and CODE fellow is responsible for the academic guidance, strategic direction and leadership for the postgraduate distance learning programmes in Livestock Health and Production, Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health, and the Professional Doctorate Programme. She contributes to the teaching on these programmes and in other RVC courses.  Christine also works with external partners and collaborators in developing customised distance learning training programmes.

Dr. Oscar Mwaanga is the Programme Director for the Post Graduate Certificate in International Sports Management at the University of London Worldwide and a CODE fellow. His interest is in the development and delivery of industry focussed online and distance  sports education programmes. Oscar also takes particular scholarly and practitioner interest in decolonisation of Higher Education and the decolonisation of sport for sustainable development field.

Dr Romina Istratii is UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the School of History, Religions and Philosophies, SOAS. She is also Honorary Research Associate to the Department of Development Studies and SOAS’ Centre of World Christianity at SOAS. Dr Istratii ‘s work focuses on developing cosmology-sensitive and people-centred methodologies and approaches for analysing and addressing issues with gender dimensions in religious societies of Africa, Asia and other regions of the world. She has conducted independent research in Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Senegal.  She specialises in Eastern Orthodox and pre-Chalcedonian Christian Churches and traditions and is particularly versed in Orthodox theology of gender, marriage and the conjugal relationship.

Selamawit Reta believes that understanding the past is essential to managing the present and the future. This belief is born out in her deep interest in both Eastern and Western Philosophy and its place in understanding the state of being and its social implications. Selamawit works as a Software project Manager and holds a BSc in Computer engineering and an MBA. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and is currently studying for a Masters degree, also in Theology, with Agora University.