Covid-19 has led to unparalleled school closures and bought about extraordinary and unique challenges to ensuring continuity of learning for children across countries. This paper focuses on the educational experiences of children with disabilities in Malawi. Using a telephone survey, 99 parents/carers were interviewed about the impact of school closure on them and their child with disabilities. Parents reported as being overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the educational experiences of their child with disabilities, with a significant number reporting that they had no contact with the school or the teachers during closures. Children with disabilities were reported as spending very little time on formal learning activities. Nonetheless, parents were confident that their child with disabilities would return to school once these re-opened, as parents noted the loss of structure for their child’s day and increased loneliness arising from lack of contact with their friends. As schools reopen, the mental health of children with disabilities, alongside their learning, will need to be a priority. Finally, parents highlighted the need for more active involvement in their child’s schooling, so that they are able to support them better when they are at home.

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Singal, N., Mbukwa-Ngwira, J., Taneja-Johansson, S., Lynch, P., Chatha, G. & Umar, E. 2021, 'Impact of Covid-19 on the education of children with disabilities in Malawi: reshaping parental engagement for the future', International Journal of Inclusive Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2021.1965804

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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