Is there Learning Continuity during the COVID-19 Pandemic? A Synthesis of the Emerging Evidence




COVID-19, educational technology, learning continuity, access to education, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Ecuador, Vietnam, Ghana, Bangladesh


Since the onset of COVID-19, governments have launched technology-supported education interventions to ensure children learn. This paper offers a narrative synthesis of emerging evidence on technology-based education to understand the current experiences of learners, teachers and families. Studies find that few students in low- and middle-income countries have access to technology-supported learning with the most marginalised children appearing to have the least educational opportunities. As such, the education response to COVID-19 could widen existing inequalities.

Author Biographies

Chris McBurnie, Open Development & Education

Chris McBurnie is an Analyst with Open Development & Education. Previously, he spent approximately 18 months designing and implementing a number of school-based development projects in East Africa and India. In 2019, Chris graduated with an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge where he focused on how institutions influence the impact and uptake of education interventions. Email:

Taskeen Adam, Open Development & Education

Dr. Taskeen Adam is a Senior Analyst with Open Development & Education. Her PhD research highlighted that historical injustices, cultural imposition, and economic dependence continue to play a pivotal role in education. Alongside her academic pursuits, she pioneered Khwela (a regional online course platform) and Solar Powered Learning in South Africa as well as Mobile Education for Smart Technology in India. Prior to her career shift to EdTech, she worked as an electrical engineer, specialising in measurement and control. Email:

Tom Kaye, Open Development & Education

Tom Kaye, is a Senior Education Specialist with Open Development & Education. He has more than 10 years’ experience developing, implementing and evaluating education policies and programs in Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition to his consulting work, Tom is a Ph.D. candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; his research focuses on exploring how technology can enhance learning outcomes in developing countriesEmail:



How to Cite

McBurnie, C., Adam, T., & Kaye, T. (2020). Is there Learning Continuity during the COVID-19 Pandemic? A Synthesis of the Emerging Evidence. Journal of Learning for Development, 7(3), 485–493.



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