Crises and disruptions: Educational reflections, (re)imaginings, and (re)vitalization

  • Yusuf Sayed CITE, CPUT
  • Adam Cooper HSRC
  • Vaughn M. John UKZN
Keywords: COVID-19, interlocking crises, violence, education policy, techno-education, inequalities, pedagogies of hope


COVID-19 has illuminated and exacerbated inequities, yet, as a crisis, it is not exceptional in its effect on
education. We start this critical essay by situating the crisis in its historical, economic, and political contexts,
illustrating how crisis and violence intersect as structural conditions of late modernity, capitalism, and their
education systems. Situating the current crisis contextually lays the foundation to analyse how it has been
interpreted through three sets of policy imaginaries, characterised by the notions of learning loss and building
back better and by solutions primarily based on techno-education. These concepts reflect and are reflective of
the international aid and development paradigm during the pandemic. Building on this analysis, we present, in
the final section, an alternative radical vision that calls on a sociology of possibilities and pedagogies of hope
that we see to be central to a new people-centred education imaginary to disrupt current inequalities and provide
a new way of doing rather than a return to a business-as-usual approach in and through education