COVID-19 and Girls’ Education
Panelists: Sharareh Kashi (York University), Dr. Rachel Silver (York University), Dr. Alyssa Morley (Michigan State University, Dr. Priscilla Ndegwa (Kenyatta University), Dahabo Ibrahim (BHER), Joseph Mutua (Kenya Equity in Education Project)
Discussant: Hanan Duri (York University)
Since March 2020, experts have decried the threat that COVID-19 poses to girls’ education around the globe. According to the Malala Fund, 20 million adolescent girls may never return to school after lockdowns, including up to half of refugee girls in secondary school (2020). The United Nations estimates that the pandemic could result in seven million unintended pregnancies (UN, 2020). These statements reflect anxiety that the coronavirus will exacerbate girls’ vulnerabilities and imperil decades of progress toward gender equitable education.
In this session, panelists in Kenya, Canada, and the US will consider:
1) the gendered construction of risk in international and national discourses on COVID-19 and education;
2) the lived experiences of young women as they navigate schooling amidst a pandemic in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps; and
3) the possibilities for interventions to mitigate the full range of challenges facing girls who seek to return to—and stay in—school.
York University’s Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Project, Faculty of Education, and Centre for Refugee Studies present a monthly virtual colloquium series on the intersections of refugee education, anti-Black racism, and COVID-19 in Canada and East Africa.
Through a series of talks, film, and an open-mic event, experts will consider the unique challenges that the twinned pandemics pose to refugee communities and educators in Canada and/or East Africa; highlight the unique knowledge that refugee communities and the educators who work with them bring to learning in situations of constraint; and offer new lenses to make meaning of our current moment.
This colloquium is the first of its kind to feature experts from York University and from institutions that are comprised of or work with refugees in equal measure. Together, this series will: (1) deepen connections among refugee communities, educational leaders, and scholars within and across institutions; (2) foster a sense of reciprocity in learning; (3) recognize and validate the unique expertise that refugee communities bring to time- or resource-constrained situations; and (4) educate all attendees on a range of topics relevant to refugee education, COVID-19, and anti-Black racism.
The colloquium series will be held monthly throughout the academic year at 10:00 AM EDT/5:00 PM EAT.