Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching Models and the Supply and Demand of Faculty in the East African Community
A New Report Reveals the Adverse Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching Models and the Supply and Demand of Faculty in the East African Community
A new report titled "Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching Models and the Supply and Demand of Faculty in the East African Community" sheds light on the effects of the pandemic on the higher education sector in the region.
The report by Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) and the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) provides valuable insights on the challenges faced by faculty and students in the East African Community (EAC) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some highlights are:
Faculty workload: On average, EAC faculty reported an increased workload (lecture hours) by 32%, with Rwanda leading by 53%.
Faculty employment: On average, 45% of the study's faculty respondents were still employed full-time, while 9 percent were on a contract basis during the pandemic.
Faculty salaries, benefits, and promotions: Only 50% of faculty in Kenya and Tanzania received their salaries on time, while only 17% of Ugandan faculty members received their salaries on time.
Research during the COVID-19 pandemic: More than 70% of faculty members did not conduct research during the pandemic, and less than 25% published.
Transition to eLearning: Across the region, 41% of faculty members had unreliable internet access, and 29% had insufficient electronic devices for eLearning.
These findings were drawn from a survey of higher education institutions and faculty members in the EAC during the COVID-19 pandemic and were analysed as part of the Demographics of African Faculty (DAF) study. The DAF EAC study is being conducted by ESSA, IUCEA, the Association of African Universities (AAU), and the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), with funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
"The evidence and insights presented in the report are informative. They shed light on the challenges of teaching models and the supply and demand of faculty in the EAC in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With its findings, the report will play a critical role in helping the consortium refine its methodology for engaging with stakeholders in higher education. It will assist us in identifying and co-creating innovative solutions to tackle faculty challenges exacerbated by the pandemic," – Dr Pauline Essah, ESSA's Director of Research and Programmes.
The report's findings call for urgent action from policymakers, educators, and funders in the higher education sector to support faculty recruitment, development and retention in the East African Community and beyond.