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In the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region has suffered a triple curse, as it faced the largest combined impact in health, economic and educational terms. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on people´s lives, livelihoods, and human capital formation represents, without doubt, one of the worst crises in LAC’s history. As we seek to rebuild better and foster more inclusive and sustainable growth, the main concern, nonetheless, is not the heavy toll of the pandemic, but the future of an entire generation of children and young people who have endured this massive shock. This report is the first evidence-based assessment of this educational catastrophe in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report intends to systematically document the impact that COVID-19 has had on the region’s education sector two years after. The 24 months since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 is described sequentially, focusing firstly on the features of the “triple curse”, and then on the direct impact on schooling, learning and skills development. The report also addresses significant cross-sectoral impacts, namely those related to digital and transferable skills.
Jerome Marston; Marika Tsolakis
Attacks on education and military use of schools increased by one-third in 2020 compared to 2019, and remained at the same rate in 2021. Meanwhile, the number of people harmed in attacks and military use declined by half in 2020, compared to 2019, then doubled in 2021, returning to near pre-pandemic rates. In some countries, during initial public-health lockdowns in early 2020, GCPEA noted a reduction in attacks on education followed by a spike in attacks on schools or school teachers and students when educational facilities reopened in late 2020 or early 2021. Armed forces and non-state armed groups also took advantage of vacant schools, using them for military purposes during the pandemic in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, and Sudan, amongst others. One explanation for the decline in the number of people harmed in 2020 may be that fewer students or staff were present in schools or universities when attacks occurred. Alternatively, with students and teachers out of schools due to the pandemic, armed groups and armed forces opposed to education no longer needed to violently prevent their attendance. As students and educators resumed in-person learning in 2021, the number of people harmed was similar to in years prior to the pandemic.
Tabitha Hrynick; Violet Barasa; Syed Abbas
Godwin O. Akaba; Osasuyi Dirisu; Kehinde S. Okunade (et al.)
COVID-19 pandemic may have affected the utilization of maternal and newborn child health services in Nigeria but the extent, directions, contextual factors at all the levels of healthcare service delivery in Nigeria is yet to be fully explored. The objective of the study was to explore the barriers and facilitators of access to MNCH services during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. A qualitative study was conducted among different stakeholder groups in 18 public health facilities in Nigeria between May and July,2020. In-depth interviews were conducted among 54 study participants (service users, service providers and policymakers) selected from across the three tiers of public health service delivery system in Nigeria (primary health centers, secondary health centers and tertiary health centers). Coding of the qualitative data and identification of themes from the transcripts were carried out and thematic approach was used for data analyses.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated worldwide economic decline, East and Southern Africa (ESA) has suffered job losses and an increase in poverty, interruptions in healthcare services, and declined nutrition levels. Young adults whose place in the labor market is often informal, temporary, and tenuous at best have suffered greater job and income losses than their parents. As part of ensuring that recovery efforts also reduce the number of youth, especially young women, not in employment, education, or training (NEET), UN Women in ESA commissioned a quantitative study on the NEET status of youth aged 15-24 years in nine countries in the region. This report summarizes the country findings and provides a detailed analysis of available NEET data for youth aged 15-24 years with a view to supporting evidence-based policy advocacy and action in this area. The study covers Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda.
This first UNESCO Policy Report on Inclusive and Resilient Societies, released as the world enters the third year of the pandemic, analyses the causes, nature and evolution of inequalities during the COVID-19 crisis. High-level analysis and findings are detailed in this summary, with detail provided in the report.
In March 2020, after the coronavirus cases in Bangladesh were confirmed, both Humanitarian Play Labs (HPL) and mainstream Play Labs temporarily stopped their face-to-face operations according to the government mandate. The pandemic endangered people’s physical health and highly impacted their socio-economic and mental health conditions. Hence, BRAC explored alternative approaches and designed a telecommunication model, Pashe Achhi, to support all the direct beneficiaries during the pandemic. The objective of the intervention was to be connected with the beneficiaries and promote children’s wellbeing and development through play-based learning, positive parenting, and self-care practices of caregivers. Since caregivers are the core agent for children’s learning and development during the pandemic, the model provides psychosocial support and learning support to them. To facilitate the calls, the model trained facilitators on ECD, learning through play, playfulness, and mental health. Pashe Achhi is a telecommunication model consisting of tele-counseling and tele-learning components. After receiving the training, the Play Leaders started to call the families every week to conduct a 20 minutes phone session (10 minutes with the mother and 10 minutes with the child) based on the scripts delivered. In the first 10 minutes, Play Leaders give mothers and caregivers basic psychosocial support, tips on engaging with children and discuss health and hygiene issues.
This report summarizes progress, gaps, challenges and opportunities in improving education and training for girls and women affected by conflict and crisis. This report monitors progress since the first Mind the Gap report and highlights the following thematic areas: distance education and the digital divide, school-related gender-based violence, and girls’ education during climate crisis. The report aims to support the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education’s commitment to enhance the evidence base and monitor progress toward gender-equitable education in crises. The report draws from data on 44 crisis-affected countries, from recent research, and from a set of case studies of interventions in a range of crisis-affected contexts.
Shelby Carvalho; David Evans
To hear talk of it, you might think educating girls is a silver bullet to solve all the world’s ills. A large and still growing collection of research demonstrates the wide-ranging benefits of girls’ education. Recent research has nuanced some of those findings, but the fundamental result stands: Educating girls is good for girls and good for the people around them. This report goes beyond what works to get girls in school and learning—still very important questions—to probe how education can work together with other societal systems and structures to provide better lifetime opportunities for women.
Anushka Kalyanpur; Ihlas Altinci; Emmanuel Ojwang (et al.)
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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