Crisis upon crisis: Refugee education responses amid COVID-19

This study applies a critical political economy approach to understand the tensions, contradictions, and inequities that emerged when COVID-19 altered narratives and practices in education in emergencies, at the global policy level and within the local context of Syria refugee education in Lebanon. Through a vertical case study methodology, our research offers insights into a setting in which global organizations and actors sought to address the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on schooling, but under a significant broader context of multiple crises. Drawn from interviews conducted between October 2020 and February 2021, our data captures notions of “rupture” and “continuity,” underscoring amplifications in terms of systemic educational inequities. We focus on three key global narratives that emerged from the study, which when analyzed alongside insights from Lebanon, appear to be disconnected from how local actors experienced the pandemic. Our findings suggest that global narratives do not adequately account for the complexities of countries experiencing multiple crises, evoking questions around the capacity of international actors to understand and address multi-crisis environments in education. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding and addressing power and equity in refugee education.

Citation: Menashy, F. & Z. Zakharia. (2022). Crisis upon crisis: Refugee education responses amid COVID-19. Peabody Journal of Education. 97(3), 309-325.