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Since 11 March 2020 when WHO declared a global COVID-19 pandemic, AU Member States have taken steps to suppress and control the spread of the Coronavirus in Africa, including closing of schools. While school closures are important in mitigating the spread of COVI D-19, prolonged closures negatively impact all students and disproportionately affect the most deprived and vulnerable students. Schools closure however does not mean children should not continue to learn. This means creating opportunities for learning at home and we need to act fast to limit the negative consequences of COVID-19 on Africa's education systems as follows: 


1. Ensure continuity of learning based on DOTSS approach

Implement an immediate response to support continuity of learning based on the DOTSS approach endorsed by the 3rd Specialized Technical Committee on Education, Science, Technology and Innovation:

  • Digital connectivity of schools: Advocate for schools and other learning institutions to be connected to the internet and to become hubs for providing internet access in deprived communities.
  • Online learning: Provide distance learning content, deploying radio, TV, podcast and online/e-learning.
  • Teachers as facilitators and motivators of learning: Teachers should deploy relevant technologies such as webinars, to continue to engage and motivate learners to learn. All Ministries to provide guidelines and support to parents for home schooling.
  • Safety online and offline. As more children use the internet for learning, they become increasingly vulnerable to online sexual exploitation and abuse. Ministries should provide guidelines and tools for online safety.
  • Skills focused learning. The curriculum should embrace the 360 degrees approach to skills development combining foundational, digital, 21 st century, entrepreneurial and job specific skills.

2. Monitor, learn and improve

Ministries of Education should document good practices and monitor learning engagement and learning outcomes to improve the education sector response to COVID-19. They should also share information on education responses and successes and challenges with the AUC to facilitate inter-country learning and replication of good practices.

3. Plan for re-opening

Ministries of Education should put in place plans to re-open schools, launch back-to-school campaigns when appropriate, and implement education strategies to catch-up on the lost period of learning.


Unless the above actions are taken with speed and at scale, national efforts to improve education and learning will stagnate or will be undermined. The impact will be felt at all levels from individual children and families losing hope in the promise of education to member states experiencing a loss in human capital and diminished economic opportunities.

Please find attached for reference UNICEF, WHO and IFRC guidelines for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in schools.


Let us work together to ensure uninterrupted learning for all during this trying time. UNICEF Country Offices are available to support you in your response to COVID-19.

  1. Background

Teachers do one of the most important jobs in society today and must be treated with the same degree of respect as other high profile professions. Teachers can make a difference between success and failure in life; and easily determine the quality of education delivered and acquired. Lack of quality education is a major factor behind many social, political, economic and health challenges faced by the world today; as well as contributing to poverty, prejudice and conflict. The status of the Teacher in Africa is critically important to achieving Agenda 2063 vision of integration, peace and prosperity, by facilitating acquisition of not just skills and knowledge, but also requisite values and attitudes.

The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme is a collaborative initiative under the Joint AU-EU Strategy for Higher Education. The Scheme is managed by the Executive Agency of the European Commission in collaboration with African Union Commission. The overall objective of the programme is to enhance human capital development in Africa, while strengthening intra-African collaboration as called for by Agenda 2063.

The Africa Federation of Teaching and Regulatory Authorities (AFTRA) is a calling for the nomination of candidates to be considered for award of the AFTRA Fellowship at the 9th Annual Conference in Accra, Ghana, May 25-30, 2020. The nomination closes by March 13, 2020.