Geneva, 24 January 2023 (TDI): On this World Education Day, the UN under the umbrella of sustainable goals vows to achieve ‘education for all’ by 2030.

In order to create a peaceful as well as the prosperous world the provision of quality education is considered fundamental.

Education in COVID-19

Education is important as it gives skills and knowledge to acquire tolerance, job, and stay healthy. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an education crisis all over the world.

The majority of education systems in the world have faced unprecedented challenges. The gravest challenge was the closure of schools that affected negatively children’s learning and well-being.

According to the UNDP report, 147 million children missed more than half of their in-class instruction over the past two years. This led to a loss of a total of $17 trillion in lifetime earnings, in the present value of this generation of children.

Girls have been affected more than anyone by this crisis. Especially, those living in rural areas, children with disabilities, and girl children from ethnic minorities.

The number of young children completing upper secondary school increased from 54 percent in 2015 to 58 percent in 2020.

The data collected from 73 countries that fall in the low- and middle-income bracket, indicate that between 2013 and 2021, about 7 in 10 children who were 3 and 4 years old are developmentally on track.

Before COVID-19, the participation rate in organized preschool learning rose steadily in the years, from 69 percent in 2010 to 75 percent in 2020.

Only 20 percent of countries have taken significant measures for the provision of additional mental health and psychosocial support for students after school reopening.

Similarly, most countries have not achieved gender parity in the proportion of children meeting minimum learning proficiency standards in reading, and in the lower secondary completion rate.

In 2020, one-quarter of primary schools in the world had no access to basic services. Services such as electricity, drinking water, and basic sanitation facilities.

About 50 percent of primary schools have access to facilities such as information and communications technology and disability-adapted infrastructure.

COVID-19 Responses

To ensure and foster collaboration for education, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has taken the initiative of global monitoring and localized school closures.

UNESCO launched COVID-19 Global Education Coalition, a multi-sector partnership between the UN family, civil society organizations, media, and IT partners to design and deploy innovative solutions.

This helps the countries to tackle content and connectivity gaps and facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption.

Furthermore, it also helps countries in mobilizing resources and implementing innovative and context-appropriate solutions to provide education remotely, leveraging hi-tech, low-tech, and no-tech approaches.

To seek equitable solutions and universal access; and to ensure coordinated responses and avoid overlapping efforts. Also, to facilitate the return of students to school when they reopen to avoid an upsurge in dropout rates.