Equity re-examined during Covid-19: Children with disabilities and their education

Research project
Inactive research
Project period
2020 - 2021
Project owner
Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik

World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), Qatar foundation

Short description

The overarching objective of the research is to understand the impact of covid-19 on the education of children with disabilities globally and to suggest possible coping mechanisms to sustain their participation in education. The research is being undertaken across three countries- Nepal, Ethiopia and Qatar and data will be collected through telephone surveys with parents of children with disabilities, head teachers and teachers working in mainstream and special schools.

About the project:

The Covid-19 crisis is having a significant impact across the world. As of the first week of April 2020, UNESCO reported that 1.6 billion learners (nearly 9 out of 10 children) are out of school worldwide due to the school closures. Globally, almost all learners both in schools and universities have been affected by the pandemic.  Currently, very little attention has been given to issues around educational equity. While it is too early to fully understand how the Covid-19 school closures are affecting children, there are already strong indications that it will have a lasting impact on increasing inequality and result in the further marginalization of children with disabilities.


Children living with disabilities have been among the world’s most vulnerable, and marginalized populations, and the Covid-19 crisis has further disrupted their lives and that of their families. However, currently we know very little about the type of opportunities available to support their learning, the impact this crisis is having on their wellbeing and the challenges their families are facing. As we plan for the future, actions will be needed to address the specific challenges that children with disabilities and their families are facing during and in the post-pandemic period. Within the project we are mindful of intersecting variables of gender, location (rural/urban), types of impairments, all of which influence the nature and impact of the opportunities made available to children.


Research questions

 The research will specifically address the following questions:

  • How is Covid-19 impacting on the education of children with disabilities of primary school going age?
  • What type of learning opportunities are being made available to children with disabilities?
  • What support is needed for children with disabilities and their parents, teachers and head teachers to continue with their learning during and after the crisis?


Project members

Nidhi Singal, University of Cambridge

Shruti Taneja Johansson, University of Gothenburg

Niraj Poudyal, Kathmandu University

Asmaa Al-Fadala, World Innovation Summit for Education

Aemiro Tadesse, Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development