Leadership during disruptions: "Leading and managing ECE education during Covid-19 pandemic"

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Sajid Ali


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Covid-19 brought with it not only health and medical crises, but also impacted all aspects of life, including the education sector. . The early childhood education sector, in particular, is already very vulnerable, as even under normal circumstances, only 20% of children in developing countries attend preschool. COVID-19 caused greater damage to ECE. During the COVID-19 disruption, most of the school leaders and teachers in the context of Pakistan, and a majority of the parents, considered ECE learners to be far too young to utilize the technological resources for education. Consequently, excluding them from the teaching and learning efforts was considered to be rational. So, the continuation of education of ECE learners in the face of these contextual and perceptual limitations was a challenge. Thus, this study aimed at exploring the role of school leadership teams in leading and managing early childhood education in Pakistan during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this respect, the current research study was an attempt to find the answers to the following research question: how did the school leadership team (HT, ECE coordinators, ECE teachers, Admin lead, IT lead,) and parents led and managed the school ECE learners learning during the COVID-19 disruptions, the challenges they faced; the strategies used by the stakeholders; the modification of strategies and their impact on students’ learning in the subsequent COVID-19 disruptions.
An exploratory approach in qualitative research methodology was used to conduct the research. Moreover, the research tools for data collection included semi-structured interviews and focused group discussions (FDGs). The data was collected from the lead teachers/principals, ECE coordinators, admin lead, IT lead, teachers and parents. Creswell Model of Qualitative Analysis was used for the data analysis.
The results of the study were two-fold, for example; the school leadership inculcated team effort, provided technical assistance and administrative support to teachers and parents, investigated online tools like Google Classroom, Kahoot, and Flip Grid for the active participation of ECE learners, and amplified digital connectivity and the availability of resources by utilizing multiple network devices. Likewise, parents supported their young children in learning through technology by taking classes along with them in order to facilitate them and work on their weak areas. The COVID-19 pandemic was indeed a challenge for schools, parents, and kids. But the schools and parents somehow managed to continue their kids' learning through online teaching. Lastly, the study solely focuses on ECE leadership in developing nations; however, the findings may have been different in case of schools in the developed countries.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library