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Yoshie Kaga; Kyungah Bang
Declared a global pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts on every facet of life around the world, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and negatively impacting on vulnerable and disadvantaged populations the most. Learning continuity has been disrupted by school closures, generating an unprecedented situation worldwide. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data collated in July 2020, over 18.6 million children in pre-primary education in forty-eight Sub-Saharan African countries and 4.4 million pre-primary teachers – eighty-five per cent of whom were women – in twenty-four countries in the Asia-Pacific region were affected by school or centre closures. Recognizing the possible severe and detrimental impact that COVID-19 might have on ECE personnel and their practices, UNESCO Bangkok and Dakar teamed up with several partners to undertake regional surveys in the Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa from April to July 2020. Based on the regional surveys, this report features eight key findings and three key messages to better understand ECE personnel’s needs and to identify possible responses to support them.
This report presents findings from the Survey of National Education Responses to COVID- 19, jointly conducted by UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank and OECD, and administered by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics and OECD. Three rounds of questionnaires have thus far been administered.1 This report focuses on responses to the survey’s more recent third round. All numbers presented and discussed in this report refer to the share of countries that responded to each relevant question in the survey. The number of countries that provided valid responses to the question are noted in each figure. Where relevant, countries that responded with ‘Don’t know’ or ‘Not applicable’, or countries with no response to any of the options or for a level of education, are excluded from the analysis. Caution is advised in generalizing the results represented in some figures as the countries that responded to this question cover less than 50 per cent of the total four- to 17-year-old population. These instances are noted under the respective figures. Detailed information on the country and student coverage of each figure, including by income group, is available in Annexes 1-3. In each country, the survey questionnaire was completed by the Ministry of Education officials responsible for education planning at the central or decentralized levels. The survey instrument was designed to capture de jure policy responses and perceptions from government officials on their effectiveness, providing a systematic understanding of deployed policies, practices and intentions to date.
Students around the world have lost substantial instructional time owing to abrupt school closures since theoutbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UNESCO monitoring, in 2020, school buildings werecompletely closed for an average of 15 weeks (4 months) worldwide (UNESCO, 2021a). Counting partialclosures, schools were shut on average for 26 weeks (6.5 months) worldwide, equivalent to almost two-thirds of a typical school year. In response, education systems have deployed remote and hybrid learning modalities to ensure continuity of learning. These efforts have yielded mixed results, with varying degrees of improvement and reduction in inequalities in student learning depending on the modalities and implementation methods of the different education programmes. As a result, almost all students needsome catch-up learning, compelling education systems to deploy and scale up targeted interventions quicklyto help pupils bridge their learning gaps and improve learning.This paper draws key messages to help policy and practice to mitigate the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 crisis on student learning. It addresses the growing concerns of both policy and decision-makers aboutstudents’ disengagement from – or loss of – learning owing to the pandemic, as reflected in low levels of achievement at checkpoints compared to expected learning levels, reduced rates of completion and/orgrowing disparities in learners' achievement. If policy-makers do not react quickly by providing additionaland relevant support to address students’ learning needs, especially those from marginalized groups,millions of children and youth may not return to the classroom, and may eventually drop out of school.
This report highlights a very important topic for the world and for society: inclusive education as a significant issue in the context of the global Education 2030 Agenda and special education to safeguard the rights and interests of per-sons with disabilities share a common focus on the equal access to education for students with disabilities among disadvantaged groups. UNESCO has been advocating for the global com-munity to work together to find ways to remove barriers to learning for persons with disabilities and to provide them with appropriate conditions for equal access to education. Evidence–based data received during interviews with over 50 educators in Rwanda and Mauritius provided the opportunity to identify gaps, les-sons learned, and good practices in the target countries, and helped to articulate the policy recommendations to encourage innovative and pervasive use of ICT and ODL solutions for the education of students with disabilities.
The research was guided by the following objectives: outline the main contributions of institutions in facilitating integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in SEN education during the pandemic crisis; examine the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of technological innovations employed in SEN education; analyse the major barriers impeding the implementation of ODL solutions in SEN education; determine the promising innovative technological practices and whether they are potentially sustainable and replicable in a post-COVID environment; propose policy recommendations to promote and encourage innovative and pervasive use of ODL solutions for learners with disabilities as a post-COVID recovery plan.
Vashkar Bhattacharjee; Shahriar Mohammad Shiblee
This study sheds light on Bangladesh’s initiatives in the area of disability-inclusive education. The particu-lar focus is on the role of its Accessible Reading Materials (ARM) initiative and how this has contributed to ensuring disability-inclusive and accessible education during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. ARM is a government-led initiative that was launched in 2014 by the then Access to Information (a2i) programme of the Prime Minister’s Office, now the Aspire to Innovate Programme of the Information and Communica-tion Technology (ICT) Division of the Government of Bangladesh. It was launched in recognition of the need for solutions to ensure virtual, as well as regular reading access for all students, including children and young people with barriers to reading. ARM is aimed at satisfying the educational needs of all students including students with print and learning disabilities.
These timely Guidelines were developed precisely with the aim to assist countries and stakeholders to conduct assessments of their national education legal and policy frameworks. The first edition was published in 2014. Today, more than being just a revision, the new Guidelines have been entirely re-designed and re-written to reflect the new context, trends and challenges. They build on the new knowledge we produced, capitalize on the work carried out in countries, and use improved methodological tools.
This study provides a global overview and an analysis of the adoption of legal provisions for free and compulsory pre-primary education at national level . By providing a rights-based perspective to the implementation of pre-primary education, the study aims to complement existing literature on SDG Target 4 .2, which focuses mainly on policy outcomes . This study also fills a gap in the existing literature monitoring rights in ECCE, which fall short of providing guidance on the operation alization of the recommendation on universalizing at least one year of pre-primary education of education 2030 . The data collected for this study includes an independent examination of publicly available national legal frameworks, which provide the guarantee within which countries can expand and implement the free and compulsory nature of pre-primary education . This study produces evidence on how countries have implemented international human rights frameworks, which guarantee the right to education and the protection against discrimination in fulfilling this right . By strengthening the global knowledge base on this subject, this study can be used as advocacy opportunity, demonstrating the value and importance of adopting legal provisions for one year of free and compulsory pre-primary education .
This report focuses on the impacts of the pandemic on learning proficiency, specifically as measured by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 4.1.1. Over the last couple of decades, there has been a growing awareness of how crucial learning proficiency, especially that of younger children, is for human development. The evidence is clear that improvements in proficiency underpin future economic development, and the building of more cohesive and equal societies. The indicators on learning proficiency are among the most discussed indicators within the SDG framework.
The suspension of in-person classes as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly affected the education systems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and compromised the achievements reached around the goals established in the SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda. This report analyzes the possibilities, restrictions and needs that the countries of the region will face during the process of returning to in-person classes, considering five dimensions: (i) safe schools (school infrastructure, access to water and sanitation); (ii) human resources (principals and teachers); (iii) access to ITC and connectivity; (iv) education financing and (v) information and planning.
Alejandro Vera; Martín Scasso
The rapid spread of coronavirus in the world in 2020 and its manifestation in the COVID-19 pandemic led most national governments to suspend in-person classes on a massive scale.This is the greatest global and simultaneous interruption of education services in recent history. It has impacted over 90% of the global student population from preschool to higher education1.In this context, Latin American and Caribbean countries have undertaken enormous efforts to promote continuity of teaching and learning. However, profound inequities persist in school systems that limit the capacity to reach the entire population
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion school-age children in more than 190 countries. Already last year, 250 million school-age children being out of school, the world was facing a “learning crisis”. But now with the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis could turn into a generational catastrophe. While many children will continue with their education once schools reopen, others may never return to school. Current estimates indicate that 24 million children will never return to the classroom and among those, disproportional number of girls. To avert this crisis, we need to reimagine how we deliver good quality and inclusive education to the world children. Among other things, this calls for urgent investments in school health and nutrition programmes and create the conditions for children to lead healthy lives. This also includes health and nutrition literacy offered through the curriculum and through counselling in the school health services which provides young people with knowledge, skills, values, culture and behaviours they need to lead healthy, empowered lives.
Adolescent girls' education contributes to a virtuous cycle that has proven positive impact on sustainable development. This report aims to examine progress and persistent gaps in our efforts to achieve gender equality in and through education since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, and to identify priority actions to be implemented within the Beijing+25 process, the Generation Equality Forum's Action Coalitions, and the Sustainable Development Goals. It shows the importance of adolescent girls' education and provides recommendations for collective action – in particular on three priority levers: Comprehensive sexuality education; the participation of adolescent girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and the development of adolescent girls' leadership – drawing in particular on consultation processes among international organizations, civil society and adolescent girls in the run-up to the Forum. In all areas, specific levers, intersectoral approaches and multi-stakeholder partnerships are promoted.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) joins together cities from across the world around the common objective of harnessing the potential of culture and creativity for a sustainable future. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people everywhere, and the culture sector has in many ways come to a standstill – cultural events, cinema, theatre and music performances have been cancelled, international tourism has largely ceased, restaurants and markets have closed, amongst others. This has not only impacted the sectors concerned, but also the public, which tends to turn to cultural products and services for education, entertainment, leisure, personal development, or social engagement. While this undoubtably has a serious impact on the economic viability of the cultural sector, the sector's fundamental creativity and ability to inspire social connection remains intact. The information submitted by over 90 Creative Cities from 44 UNESCO Member States shows how cities have come together to nurture new ideas and projects by connecting people to culture and creativity during the pandemic.
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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