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The Implications of COVID-19 for Early Childhood Education in Ethiopia: Perspectives from Parents and Caregivers.

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Recent research on the effects of COVID-19 on school closures has mainly focused on primary and secondary education, with extremely limited attention to early childhood education (ECE). To address this gap, we identify the extent to which parents and caregivers with pre-primary school-aged children were engaged in their children's learning during school closures in Ethiopia. Our focus on Ethiopia is of particular relevance given that ECE provision has expanded dramatically in recent years, aimed at ensuring children are prepared for primary school. Using data collected through a phone survey with 480 parents and caregivers, the results revealed that learning disruption due to COVID-19 school closures is likely to be substantial and will probably widen existing inequalities further. Many poorer households and those where parents or caregivers are not literate, are less likely to have child-oriented learning resources, and home learning activities between parents and children in these households are limited. The study highlights that greater attention needs to be paid to mitigate the threats of COVID-19 on Ethiopia's recent gains in ECE, to prevent the pandemic from further reinforcing inequalities between children from advantaged and disadvantaged households.



Parental Involvement, Early Childhood Education, Educational Inequality, Early Learning, Covid-19

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Early childhood education journal

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