In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to more than 190 countries implementing nationwide school closures, and approximately 90 percent of all students (1.57 billion) were out of school, at some point. This led to many countries’ attempting to provide education to the millions of young learners now stuck at home with methods such as broadcasting lessons on television, radio and/ or internet-based lessons. Distance learning solutions were provided in four out of five countries with school closures; however access was not consistent across or within countries. Undoubtedly, all children have been affected by the pandemic, but those with disabilities, who were among the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized populations even before the pandemic, have been most disproportionately affected.
The overarching objective of the research was to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the education of children with disabilities and to suggest possible strategies to sustain their participation in education. Data was collected across three countries, namely Ethiopia, Nepal and Qatar, to capture the diversity of experiences, whilst also identifying commonalities. Each of these countries has a unique set of economic, social and political characteristics. Focusing on these countries provides a unique lens to understand the nature and experience of formal learning for children with disabilities and their families during prolonged school closures.