One year into COVID: prioritizing education recovery to avoid a generational catastrophe

Author: UNESCO

Audience: Policymakers

Languages: English

Geographical Scope: Regional


During the pandemic, the majority of governments (133 countries) provided a mix of online, television and radio solutions to ensure learning continuity, providing strong ground to build more resilient education systems and bridge the digital divide. However, we are just beginning to obtain a global picture of learning loss: according to a study by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 100 million children and youth are projected to fall below the minimum proficiency level in reading because of COVID-19, erasing gains made over the past two decades. Ms Gianninistressed the importance of protecting teachers, including by making them a priority group in vaccination campaigns, and reiterated the call to protect education finance. According to the joint Education Finance Watch Study with the World Bank, 65% of low-income countries are cutting education budgets while education only accounts for 2% allocation in stimulus packages of 56 countries. Finally,she referred to the achievements of the Global Education Coalition, marking its first anniversary, noting its actions in 100 countries and missions around skills, teachers and connectivity.