Education Researchers Respond to the Current Crisis

JET Education Services wholeheartedly supports the government’s actions to stem the progression of COVID-19 in our country. As early responders to the call from the President, we have taken steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and beneficiaries in the various projects across South Africa.

On 13 March, we shared a special JET Bulletin on Extending the capacity of governments and communities to save lives: The role of education systems in responding to COVID-19 and other threats. This preliminary paper set the stage for us to announce a  ‘Researchers’ Bootcamp’, an opportunity for young (and not-so-young) researchers that want to do something about the threat of COVID-19 and its implications for education. We plan to look at macro, middle and micro-level implications of COVID-19 for the South African education system.   

Research, activation, and measurement is our game!
Think Education. Think JET.
See more about JET's COVID-19 Research Response:

1. South African Research Bootcamp, launched March 2020

2. SADC Researchers Challenge, launched May 2020

3. Commonwealth Researchers in Pursuit, launched June 2020

Questions answered

1. Why is JET doing this?
As an educational research agency with a non-profit motive, JET is contributing to the coordination of COVID-19 preventative measures and also coordination of efforts nationally. #OpenupYourThinking is an opportunity to (1) contribute meaningfully to solutions and pressures being placed on the education systems using an evidence-based approach; (2) allow for real time inputs to me made into other national education processes, such as NASCEE, IPASA, DBE, NECT and others; and (3) keep a group of young researchers meaningfully occupied during the lockdown period, while giving them an opportunity to grow as they will be working under the guidance of experienced researchers
 2. How will researchers benefit?
This is a great opportunity for young researchers (<35y) to work under the guidance of a more experienced researchers/practitioners, but also to be part of an innovative online approach that will also allow for learning to take place between peers. 
3. How can sector benefit from research projects?
We plan to feed into actual processes underway at this time. JET is already involved in many of these, and the emerging findings from the thematic streams will be fed into the relevant debates. We will also encourage young researchers to have their voices heard. 
4. Packaging and dissemination?
We are looking at a combination of short briefs and more interactive online options. Our graphic designer is currently exploring options. Overall our timing has been to start with the lockdown, and we plan to release the final products at the time when the lockdown lifts. In between we will also try and bring out key items.