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Saurav Dev Bhatta; Saurav Katwal; Tobias Pfutze (et al.)
Sheldon F. Shaeffer
Following the commitment to ensure ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and promote ‘lifelong learning for all’ made in 2015 in Goal 4 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNESCO, 2016), the Asia-Pacific region made significant progress in terms of both access to, and the quality of, education. However, as the mid-point to the 2030 deadline approaches, millions of learners have failed to learn what they need to reach their fullest potential, producing a ‘learning crisis’ of serious proportions. This crisis has only become more severe as a result of COVID-19,increasing pre-existing inequalities, hindering the achievement of equitable and inclusive education and stalling global progress towards meeting the SDG promise to ‘leave no one behind’. This learning crisis, however, does not affect all learners equally. The most vulnerable and excluded learners before the pandemic – girls; those with disabilities and living in poverty, remote areas and refugee/migrant families and those not speaking the language of formal education – are facing increased vulnerability and exclusion compared to their more ‘included’ peers after the pandemic – in other words, even greater learning loss. Unfortunately, due to a range of barriers, there is currently an insufficient number of national and local policies, strategies and programmes to mitigate this loss.
Ivan Coursac; Daniel Kelly
This background paper outlines the scale and urgency of financing education for SDG4 in the post-COVID Asia-Pacific region. The paper focuses primarily on the public financing of education and it directly addresses three main questions: (i) What are the key issues and challenges for education finance in the Asia-Pacific? Situating public education financing within the broader contexts of human capital development and social sector spending; (ii) What has been the impact of COVID-19 on education finance? From the immediate economic and education system impacts to the longer-term effects linked to significant and inequitable learning loss; and finally (iii) What are the priority areas for action? The paper proposes five main recommendations to guide post-COVID recovery and the financing of more inclusive, efficient and resilient regional education systems. The paper includes a list of resources at the end to support the implementation of the recommendations.
A new social contract for education in the Asia-Pacific region paves the way for building fairer and strengthened education systems in the post-COVID-19 era. It will repair inequalities, while transformingthe future, rebuild relationships with each other, with the planet and with technology and support full realization of all the inter-connected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UNESCO, 2022). In this new social contract, schools must continue to play a vital role in enhancing health, nutrition andthe well-being of learners, teachers and the community. School Health and Nutrition (SHN) programmesthat address the health, nutrition and well-being of learners and teachers are not only essential for maximizing every child’s life expectancy and potential as a learner; they are cost effective, with benefitsacross multiple sectors and they are a sound economic investment (Oliveira de FPSL et al., 2020).
Lay Cheng Tan
The UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok), in partnership with the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO)and the Ministry of Education of Thailand, will convene the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers’ Conference (APREMC-II) in June 2022 to reflect on how education systems can be strengthened and transformed to become more equitable, inclusive, responsive, relevant and resilient to better deliver on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 commitments. This background paper has been commissioned by UNESCO Bangkok and the convening partners to facilitate discussions on teacher education and professional development at the primary and secondary education levels. The participating Member States will deliberate priorities and plans for teachers in their post-COVID-19 learning recovery and reconstruction efforts during the conference. Drawing on existing studies and reports, the paper focuses on the following issues in the Asia-Pacific region: 1) Overview of the teaching profession and the impact of the learning crisis and COVID-19pandemic on teachers; 2) Promising policies and practices to strengthen teachers’ competencies and performance for thepost-COVID-19 learning recovery and reform; 3) Teacher competencies required for learning recovery (including assessment of learning levels,identification of learning loss and recuperation), addressing the learning crisis, teaching in digital and hybrid environments, optimizing governance and leadership and enhancing teachers’ well-being; and; 4) Recommendations for preparing and supporting teachers for learning recovery, addressing the learning crisis and for education in the new normal and for the future.
This background paper was prepared to inform the thematic panel discussion on Learning Recovery and Addressing the Learning Crisis at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministerial Conference (APREMC-II) in June 2022. The purpose of this paper is to provide key recommendations for the provision and delivery of school education2 to facilitate post-COVID-19 learning recovery in the immediate and short-term. The recommendations focus on how education systems could provide safe schools and deliver a more equitable, inclusive and relevant education for all learners.
This study aimed to collect information on national or government-led distance learning programmes that were established in response to the educational disruption caused by COVID-19. The key objective is to enable reflection on these policy responses and their effectiveness in minimizing the disruption and learning loss, and maintaining continuity, quality, inclusiveness and equity. This case study is on the Republic of Korea. It is based on information and relevant documents supplied by the Korean Government for scrutiny, and reflects a centralized model where the execution of policy is devolved to 17 metropolitan and provincial offices of education.Korea was well-prepared for pandemic-related school closures in terms of infrastructure with almost 100 per cent of its population having access to high-speed broadband and an excellent mobile network. Ownership of digital devices stands at 118 per cent, and all teachers have access to devices both at home and in school (Kemp, 2021). Collaboration among teachers was widely encouraged for the production of resources. Several important lessons were learnt, which have resulted in further plans to strengthen online learning.
From its launch in 2020, and against the backdrop of the unprecedented crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Education Coalition (GEC) responded to education crises with new and innovative approaches, following its mandate of “acting for [the] recovery, resilience and reimagining” of education. It did so in alignment with core pillars of operation that defined the global response to these historic challenges to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”This new global model for cooperation features a methodology that matches needs at the point of education provision with local and global solutions; mobilizes the actors and resources required to develop active responses; coordinates the action to maximize impact and ensure efficiency; and provides remote learning opportunities through a variety of high-, low- and no-tech solutions. Benefits to this model include: speed, efficiency, and the ability to leverage resources normally unavailable; the ability to deliver results and yield impacts; lower investment cost of resources needed compared to traditional education development programming.
João Pedro Azevedo; Maryam Akmal; Marie-Helene Cloutier (et al.)
Charlotte Mcclain-Nhlapo; Vuyiswa ; Ruchi Kulbir Singh (et al.)
Emma Näslund-Hadley; Juan Manuel Hernández-Agramonte; Carolina Mendez (et al.)
The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated the vulnerabilities of our education systems, worsening existing inequalities and digital divides even as it highlighted the essential value of accessible, inclusive and quality education. Learning communities, expected to make rapid, sweeping changes, were caught unprepared, causing learning losses that will reverberate for years to come. This was particularly true for many countries in Africa, where further infrastructural development, training, domestic resources and funding were – and are – needed to mitigate the effects of pandemic-related education disruptions that exacerbated the pre-COVID-19 learning crisis. Unprecedented change has followed, involving new collaborations and innovations that engaged the regional community at every level, from policy-makers to school leaders, teachers and learners, through original examples of ingenuity and transformation.
Huong Le Thu; Schwabe Markus
The analyses made and findings presented in this paper are based on the data collected through a rapid assessment carried out in July/August 2021 by UNESCO staff (Section of Education Policy, Education Sector) from various sources including information available online (articles, papers, blogs, websites of countries’ Ministries of Education), media reports, national and international organizations’ databases and reports (e.g. the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank-OECD Survey of National Education Responses to COVID-19 (2021) and the UK ENIC Special ReportonCOVID-19 -Guide to International Secondary Assessment in 2020.
Harry Patrinos; Anthony Vegas; Emiliana Carter-Rau (et al.)
Simon Bilo; Mohamed Ihsan Ajwad; Ebtesam AlAnsari (et al.)
The schooling disruption caused by COVID-19 in Kuwait is among the longest in the world. Using the similarities between the schooling disruptions due to the Gulf War and the schooling disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this note shows that students in school during the COVID-19 pandemic face significant reductions in the present value of their lifetime income. Furthermore, the findings show that students in higher grades during the pandemic are likely to face larger reductions in lifetime earnings than students in lower grades. Kuwaiti females in secondary school who will become civil service workers face a reduction of close to $40,000. The corresponding reduction for males is more than $70,000.
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