Mitescu-Manea, M., Safta-Zecheria, L., Neumann, E., Bodrug-Lungu, V., Milenkova, V., & Lendzhova, V. (2021). Inequities in first education policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis: A comparative analysis in four Central and East European countries. European Educational Research Journal.
The historically high inequities in the education systems of Central and East-European countries have been further exacerbated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using critical frame analysis, we compared the education policy debates in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a particular focus on inequities. We discuss the policy frames proposed and utilized by governmental and non-governmental actors to understand their roles played in articulating policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis, and highlight the specificities and commonalities of the political language within and across the national borders of the four countries. We conclude with our findings on the dynamics and structure of the policy debate between state and non-state actors in times of crisis with a particular focus on policy spaces and policy temporalities. Two ways of constructing spatio-temporalities co-exist: one is national, state and public health centric and focuses on governing ‘through’ the crisis; and the other is focused on long term planning while constructing the crisis as an opportunity for decisive intervention towards more equitable education.