Ministries of Education responses during Covid-19

Read two reports by the British Council - the first looking at Ministry of Education activity early on during the Covid-19 pandemic, and a second, later report looking at Ministry of Education responses during the period of schools reopening.

A global snapshot of Ministries of Education responses in the state primary and secondary sector

Report 1

This report provides a snapshot from late April/early May 2020 of how Ministries of Education were responding to the challenges of the educational crisis in respect of English language teaching and learning. 51 of the 52 countries responding had closed all primary and secondary schools. 88% of countries provided some form of access to remote learning, though far fewer ministries of education had published plans to deal with the crisis. Most ministries had no specific plans for the continuation of English language teaching and learning in particular. Half of the education systems reviewed reported challenges around access to and equity of education provision during the crisis. Another major challenge was to introduce teacher support systems to facilitate large-scale remote teaching. Download and read the first report below

Report 2

The second snapshot in September investigates how the situation has evolved and what lessons have been learned for the future in relation to supporting the effective remote delivery of English language teaching and learning.This report gives an updated snapshot, with data collected in September and October 2020 from 44 countries and territories. The insights are provided in this latest report are centred around the current situation as schools begin to reopen; what the experience of school closure means for current and future priorities; how the learning of English remotely might be different from the learning of other subjects; and an evaluation of future challenges. 

The report has selected and prioritised key insights from a review of the global landscape. They should be seen as indications of trends and challenges in the responses to the continuing impact of Covid-19 and are intended to inform rather than determine the focus of any support for Ministries of Education, as well as informing future research avenues. Download and read the second report below 

Teacher and teacher educator needs during the Covid-19 pandemic April - May 2020

You can also read a report based on the British Council's survey of teacher and teacher educator needs during the Covid-19 pandemic April - May 2020. The report explores responses to three online surveys carried out by the British Council in April and May 2020 into the immediate needs and experiences of teachers and teacher educators in April and May during the Covid-19 pandemic. It finds that remote teaching was new for the majority of teachers and teacher educators who responded to the survey, but that the teachers and teacher educators were reasonably confident in their ability to do their job remotely. However, respondents needed more training and support and clearer guidelines from their Ministries of Education. Challenges they faced include inequalities in access to remote education, for example due to poor connectivity, and how to develop and maintain the engagement of students in remote learning, with the role of parents and caregivers also becoming more critical.


Watch a recording of our webinar from 21 July taking a deeper look at the insight from the initial report, written in April/May 2020, and the results of the teacher and teacher educator survey into their needs during Covid-19.During the webinar, five members of the British Council's English in Education Systems (EES) team explore what teachers’ experiences have been and what ministries of education have done to support remote teaching and learning. The webinar presents resources and ideas to help you support your learners remotely and also help you manage the return to learning in school. Watch the webinar recording

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

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