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Profiles

Despina Karamperidou

Education Specialist

Despina Karamperidou is an education specialist at the UNICEF Office of Research (Innocenti) where she coordinates the Time to Teach project. Despina’s research focuses on the performance of government institutions, the delivery of social services and the employment of qualitative research methods in humanitarian and developing contexts. Empirically, her work involves extensive field research and employs multiple qualitative data collection and interpretation methods. Despina holds a PhD in Political Science from the European University Institute (EUI) and master’s degrees from the EUI (M.Res. Political Science), the University of Bristol (M.Sc. Economics) and the University of Macedonia (M.A. Southeast European Politics). She has also received various research grants and completed research fellowships at Yale University, the George Mason University and the Central European University. From 2013 to 2015, she worked with the Robert Schuman Research Center for Advanced Studies on projects exploring migration and state capacity in the EU and beyond.

Publications

Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean
Publication Publication

Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean

By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge. This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools Zanzibar
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools Zanzibar

Teacher absenteeism constitutes a significant barrier to achieving quality education in many low- and middle-income countries globally, where teachers’ school absence rates range from 3 per cent to 27 per cent. Over the past few decades, Zanzibar has implemented a number of policy reforms and made tremendous progress in expanding access to primary education. Yet, the quality of learning outcomes remains weak. One of the major factors hindering the provision of quality education is teacher absenteeism, which is a prevalent phenomenon across primary schools. Time to Teach (TTT) targets this knowledge gap. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of primary school teacher attendance and to use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher-related policies. Specifically, the study looks at four distinct forms of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual; being in the classroom; and spending sufficient time on task while in the classroom.
Unlocking Learning: The co-creation and effectiveness of a digital language learning course for refugees and migrants in Greece
Publication Publication

Unlocking Learning: The co-creation and effectiveness of a digital language learning course for refugees and migrants in Greece

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa

There is a learning crisis. Fifty-three per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries are in ‘learning poverty’, i.e. they cannot read and understand a simple text by the end of primary school age. In sub- Saharan Africa, the learning poverty rate is 87 per cent overall, and ranges from 40 per cent to as high as 99 per cent in the 21 countries with available data. Teachers attending lessons and spending quality time on task is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism ranges from 15 to 45 per cent. Teacher absenteeism and reduced time on task wastes valuable financial resources, short-changes students and is one of the most cumbersome obstacles on the path toward the education Sustainable Development Goal and to the related vision of the new UNICEF education strategy: Every Child Learns. Whilst the stark numbers are available to study, and despite teacher absenteeism being a foremost challenge for education systems in Africa, the evidence base on how policies and practices can influence teacher attendance remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) is a research initiative that looks at primary school teacher attendance in eight countries and territories in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region: the Comoros; Kenya; Rwanda, Puntland, State of Somalia; South Sudan; the United Republic of Tanzania, mainland; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar; and Uganda. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of teacher attendance, which include being at school, being punctual, being in the classroom, and teaching when in the classroom, and use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.

Podcasts

A Conversation with our Education Team
Podcast Podcast

A Conversation with our Education Team