Family literacy programmes can be a lifeline for disadvantaged parents and caregivers who are struggling to support their children’s learning during the pandemic, write Anna Kaiper-Marquez and Esther Prins
A recent New Yorker/ProPublica
article chronicled the immense challenges facing children in poverty who
are studying remotely during the pandemic. Shemar, a 12-year-old in Baltimore,
Maryland (USA), lived with his grandmother. Having completed little schooling
in then-segregated South Carolina, his grandmother was unable to get online or
supervise Shemar’s online schoolwork. She is not alone: millions of caregivers
– across all socio-economic strata – have struggled to monitor and guide their
children’s education during the pandemic.
What if this
grandmother and other caretakers had access to family literacy programmes where
they could further their own education, such as digital or print literacy,
while also learning how to support their children’s education? Family literacy
programmes are not a panacea to fix poverty, racism, under-funded schools, the
digital divide, and other causes of educational inequalities. Yet they do have
great potential to serve as a community resource and educational safety net for
families like Shemar’s. Continue reading →
The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing already over-stretched prison services around the world, but the crisis is also an opportunity to do things differently, particularly in prison education, write Marie Macauley and Lisa Krolak on International Day of Education in Prison
With more than 11 million people in prison worldwide and prison populations
increasing rapidly, many prisons around the world were already at crisis point,
unable to provide basic services such as education, when the pandemic struck.
The crisis has highlighted the challenges prisons face, but it is also
providing impetus for change.
Education in prison can provide prisoners with the opportunity to learn new
skills and give them a renewed sense of purpose. Research has shown that prisoners who participate in education and training
programmes are less likely to return to prison. They are also more likely to
find employment on release.
Most countries provide formal primary and secondary education and
vocational training to prisoners free of charge. Some countries provide access
to higher education, whether through distance-learning or in the prison, at the
prisoners’ own expense or financed by private grants. Prison libraries also
play a key role in enabling access to information and reading materials to
inmates. Continue reading →