Image: Camilo Jimenez
Just Tech Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grant – Fall 2020


The upsurge in the spread of the coronavirus has affected many people, especially in developing countries. However, less attention has been given to how the current pandemic is differentially affecting students from low-income families in Ghana. Although schools have closed and are now utilizing remote learning to teach students, some students are more likely to be disadvantaged. Thus, instead of education and Covid-19 being a great equalizer, remote learning is exacerbating these differences. In a developing country such as Ghana, where online instructional tools are not part of the educational system, educators, teachers, and students may find it very difficult to adopt this type of learning style. Moreover, the pandemic has caused some parents to lose their jobs and livelihood, whereas others are working from home. This research intends to examine how parents are balancing their paid work with supervising the academic work of their children. We will explore the challenges and experiences of students, teachers, and parents during this remote-learning era.

Principal Investigators

Mark Obeng

Lecturer, University of Ghana, Legon

Mark Kwaku Mensah Obeng is a lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Ghana, Legon. Mark lectures primarily in the field of tradition and change, where he explores the changes that have taken place in the Ghanaian society since 1900 and the factors driving social change in Ghana. His teaching and research adopts an institutional approach. His substantive areas of interest include the economy, formal education, and the emergence of the new elite. On the economy, Mark has been writing broadly on China–Africa economic engagement. His recent publications have appeared in Asian Ethnicity, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Contemporary Journal of African Studies, Review of Social Studies, and Legon Journal of Sociology. His last major research project, entitled Deconstructing the Uptake of Made-in-China Products, was supported by the Building Africa’s Next Generation of Academics project (BANGA-AFRICA) of the University of Ghana with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Alexander Nii Adjei Sowah

Research Associate, University of Ghana

Alexander Nii Adjei Sowah holds a PhD in Development Studies from the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana. His PhD explored the influence of inheritance and land tenure arrangements on adaptation to climate variability impacts by smallholder farmers. He also holds a Bachelor and MPhil degrees in Sociology. His research interests span Gender and Development, Social Exclusion, Adaptation to changing social/cultural systems and climate change impacts. These interests have been shaped and fostered by over a decade experience in policy planning and implementation, teaching and research. He has a keen interest and desire to explore as well as understand how social systems, institutions and other forms of social arrangements influence gender relations and their implication on access to and control of resources. He is also interested in the social and economic outcomes of vulnerable and excluded groups in society.

Odartei Lamptey

Senior Project Manager, Abt Associates International

Odartei Lamptey holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the CASS European Institute of Management Studies. His research interest includes maternal and child health issues, gender inequalities, and internal and external trading. His previous research focused on the operations and challenges associated with the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana and West Africa. He is a Technical Specialist who worked as the Senior Program Manager (MNCH/FP) for the project on Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Associate Award supported by USAID in Ghana. He began his career as a program officer for USAID/ NetMark (Academy for Educational Development) program, and later became a General Manager for Precision Development Xperts, a local Non - Governmental Organization working on distribution of quality health commodities. His rich experience and dedication enabled him to successfully lead the implementation of the diarrhoea management intervention using Oral Rehydration Salt and Zinc nationwide under the USAID/SHOPS project. Odartei also supervised the introduction of Chlorhexidine 7.1% gel for the management and prevention of umbilical cord infections in new-born, in all the sixteen regions in Ghana from 2015 - 2020. Mr. Lamptey acted as the Chief of Party for the SHOPS project from August 2019 to October 2019.