The COVID-19 pandemic hits the education sector in full force, disrupting schools globally and threatening to undo decades of progress toward learning. A year into crisis, the situation remains grim: Half of the world’s student population is still affected by full or partial school closures; nearly a third cannot access distance learning; more than 11 million girls may never return to class; and more than 100 million children will fall below the minimum proficiency level in reading due to the impact of school closures. Unless immediate action is taken today, more than 24 million children and adolescents are at risk of dropping out of school.
As the pandemic reveals and increases inequality in education, UNESCO is rapidly mobilizing support to ensure continuity of learning around the world by shaping Global Education Coalition by March 2020. This multi-sector coalition brings together 175 institutional partners from the United Nations family, civil society, academia and the private sector currently working in 112 countries on three main themes: Connectivity, gender and teacher. A new report, published before a ministerial summit, Showcasing the innovative feedback that has been achieved through this unique partnership over the past year.
How does the Global Education Coalition operate and with what achievements?
That Global Education Coalition has become an important platform for supporting Member States to respond to the unprecedented challenges facing the education sector. Coalition contributions do not replace national responses, but rather involve new actors who will not become real partners, such as technology organizations and media, to complement and support national efforts to ensure sustainable learning.
Coalition members are currently involved in 233 projects in 112 countries. At least 400 million students and 12 million teachers have benefited directly or indirectly from the Coalition’s actions. Following are some examples of global, regional and country-specific action that have been achieved so far.
- In West Africa, Francophone Africa regional online learning platform Imagine him was launched as a key component of the Global Partnership for Education project to improve the quality of distance education in 10 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo. The platform offers large-scale experiences in distance education for 6.6 million students and 200,000 teachers with more than 600 educational resources.
- More than 5 million girls in the 20 countries with the largest gender gap in education will be supported to fulfill their right to education, with a focus on bringing the most marginalized girls back to school through a variety of actions. This includes increasing information and awareness, acquiring skills and providing evidence-based recommendations to decision makers.
- That Global Skills Academy, was founded to help equip 1 million young people with digital skills to adapt changes at work, reaching 142,000 beneficiaries to date. Since its launch, the Academy has mobilized more than 150 TVET institutions in 56 countries and is actively working with 15 partners to enroll an additional 75,000 students and teachers in the coming days.
- In response to the explosions that rocked Beirut, Lebanon in August 2020, Coalition members mobilized financial commitments, technical assistance and capacity building support to rehabilitate damaged schools, provide technical assistance to teachers, ensure access to distance learning with content, and support higher education. UNESCO and its partners support the rehabilitation of 55 public schools, 20 Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions, and 3 universities.
- In South Africa, a partner-developed telephone app-based support service for teachers was launched to provide a real-time chat-based learning and tutoring platform, along with health and safety features. It currently has more than 67,200 users and plans to reach 400,000 more teachers in the coming months.
- UNESCO supports an open source platform for home-based distance learning and a regional repository of curriculum-aligned resources for students and teachers in Kiribati, the Marshall Islands (Republic), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.
- With the support of GIZ, UNESCO launched a teacher training program for 20 Caribbean countries and digital and social emotional skills training for migrants and refugees in Peru.
UNESCO held a high-level ministerial events on March 29 to record lessons learned, the biggest risks facing education today and strategies for not leaving students. This will show you how to file Global Education Coalition has mobilized partners to support students, teachers and policymakers with new tools and knowledge.