Is the Pandemic the real cause of exclusion in Education?

Is the Pandemic the real cause of exclusion in Education?

If we decide that education equals online learning, then the figures showing over 463 millions of children excluded from education seems very terrifying (source: UN Children’s Fund). But if we think again and ask ourselves a serious question “Who excludes these children and why?”, then we may arrive at a very interesting conclusion. It’s not necessarily the pandemic we should blame for this exclusion. It’s ourselves because education should never depend on access to technology, internet or even workbooks. Unfortunately, it has recently been made so and as a result so many children have been left without access to “education”.

Unless humanity as a whole learns how to offer education in a way children can naturally learn, then we will ALWAYS be excluding children – and the numbers will always be higher and higher. 

examples of structured learning in school environment in various parts of the world - children sitting at desks in classroom studying

Outdated Model excludes most children 

The kind of education that humanity knows how to offer well – the model that is still in use but being disrupted by the current situation – is based on academic learning and delivering facts and knowledge through lectures, books, worksheets and screens. This method is actually the least effective of all regardless of the technological progress we have achieved so far and will achieve in the nearest future that we decide to incorporate in learning.

This passive learning-based approach excludes majority of children from receiving Personalised Holistic Education that would help them explore their natural gifts and talents, support their harmonious and balanced growth and enable them to develop core life skills. It’s because the current model focuses on academic achievement instead of empowering an individual to reach their full potential.

Future-Oriented Education

Nowadays we need much more than reading, writing and numeracy skills. However, the current model still focuses extensively on these aspects of learning topped up with knowledge about the world. But this is no longer enough.

Education equals growth – and self-growth in particular. Real life-long learning happens through inner-motivation and natural curiosity to learn, explore, expand and grow. Children understand it very well and they learn all the time. In fact, learning accelerates this way and becomes very personalised and suited to their individual needs and preferences.

boys playing with tyre in the water - infographic example of how active learning supports core life skills

No amount of screen time, course books, worksheets and tests will be able to offer this kind of education. In fact, the more we push children to learn the passive way, the more we disconnect them from their inner growth and as a result from REAL EDUCATION. 

At Natural Born Leaders we believe that real education happens through Active Experiential Holistic Learning that supports a balanced development of Core Life Skills and that can be easily aligned with other cross-curricular goals. This kind of education includes EVERY CHILD – because it focuses on helping them learn through their strengths, and it takes advantage of the universal laws of human learning. 

No Child Ever Excluded

If we offer this kind of education to our children, no child will ever be excluded again! It’s because this kind of learning by default DOES NOT REQUIRE screens, laptops, smart phones, computers, or any other advanced technology.

And the good news is that it can be offered anywhere around the globe! The only condition is that teachers know how to offer this kind of learning using whatever resources and materials are available locally, which may or may not include technology.

Successful Case Study

Together with Rural Teacher’s Association in Uganda led by John Ssentamu we’ve proven that such approach works and that it can bring great results within a very short period of time. The only reason we needed access to modern technology was to streamline our powerful teacher training program to the local educators who in turn developed their teaching skills for life and are able now to offer Active Experiential Holistic Learning to their students – all regardless of the individual circumstances. John is confident that this kind of training can be continued even during pandemic while maintaining social distancing. Also, this kind of training is very cost-effective and it’s easily replicable. 

case study from Uganda showing teachers introducing experiential learning in local classroom using fruit and vegetables

This case study is a strong example of what we can achieve collectively as humanity when we seriously reflect on what needs to be done – instead of placing new conditions, requirements and restrictions on why and how and when education can be effectively delivered. The current narrative emphasises that if one does not have access to internet or computer, it is impossible to offer them access to education. But it’s us who create such limitations, not necessarily the pandemic. And it’s us who can change the course of action – by empowering teachers AND parents to offer Future-Oriented Learning, whether it’s through schools at home. 

infographic showing how to use local resources to support experiential learning regardless of location

The Change is Easy and Possible

Imagine how education could change in a week if teachers from all over the globe learned how to offer Active Experiential Holistic Learning. Then utilising everyday technology effectively (even radio and tv) to reach children and families in remote areas or during school closures to actually support Hands-on Learning, would easily facilitate the change. 

We would have the change we’ve been dreaming of. Are we ready for this? 

We are sure that many of teachers around the globe are ready, and that this might just be enough for the shift to happen.

This is the very reason we designed the Active Learning Booster – an Online Hands-on Teacher Training that helps educators master Active Experiential Learning and offer it on a daily basis with ease without the need to rely on technology though we also show how to use it to support hands-on learning.


example of passive technology based learning contrasted with active holistic learning with children playing with colourful map of the world and  examining map outdoors on a trip

Our mission is to support committed and motivated teachers who are ready to change the way education is offered. To give all committed teachers heads-up we offer the first module for FREE.

The entire self paced program finishes with certificate of completion outlining in detail the skillsets developed.

Sign up to access to first training module of ACTIVE LEARNING BOOSTER or enrol for the entire training – the online hands-on Teacher Training Program:

Experiential Learning Future Oriented Education Teacher Training


Magdalena Matulewicz Witold Matulewicz Natural Born Leaders
Authors: Magdalena Matulewicz & Witold Matulewicz – Teacher Trainers, Assessors

If you wished to implement this solution in your setting, chain of schools or region and partner with us to make a change contact Witold Matulewicz on info (at) to discuss next steps. 

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