School closures in over 190 countries have laid bare inequalities in education , deficiencies in remote learning, discrimination against girls, a resurgence of child labour, as well as the important role schools play in students’ health, wellbeing and physical safety. Governments around the world need to reassess their education policies to ensure that no one gets left behind or left out.
The Impact of COVID 19
IFGE wants to highlight how emergencies of all kinds impact on education. The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly affected education systems across the world.
This crisis has in many ways exacerbated existing inequalities in education, which is why a focus on equity and learning recovery is paramount as children return’ to school.
From: ‘The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery’ A Joint UNESCO, UNICEF & World Bank Report, 2021
Children return to 1st class in Kat Kama primary school in the town of Guedembou, Gueckedou, Guinea . Photo courtesy of Plan International
‘The scale of the number of children who have lost out on their schooling during the pandemic is “nearly insurmountable”, according to UN data.
Up to 70% of 10 year-olds in low and middle-income countries cannot read or understand a simple text, up from 53% pre-Covid.
Classroom closures continue to affect more than 635 million children globally, with younger and more marginalised children facing the greatest loss in learning after almost two years of Covid.
Across the world, from Ethiopia to the US, children have lost basic literacy and numeracy skills and their mental and physical health has suffered.
In South Africa,, schoolchildren are between 75% and a whole school year behind where they should be, with up to 500,000 having dropped out of school altogether between March 2020 and October 2021.’
Learning losses can be reversed if countries act quickly. IFGE advocates for and supports policies and action to reverse these trends
Emergencies have a devastating impact on the right to education of millions of people, thereby impacting the progress of the entire Sustainable Development Agenda, specifically SDG 4. A generation of children and young people living in emergencies are deprived not only of their human right to quality education but also of the protection that education provides in these contexts. In emergencies, education may be the only safe space. It is essential to stand together in solidarity and call for urgent action to Protect Education in Emergencies Now.