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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.
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.
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.
Several factors are contributing to the ongoing evolution of Education Management Information Systems (EMIS). These include increasing digitization of education sector management and education delivery, the accompanying generation of large volumes of data, including about the learning process itself,and the availability of technologies for their analysis (big data analytics), as well as real-time. The pandemic-induced shift to distance learning and the post-pandemic new normal of hybrid learning modalities accelerated the influence of these factors on EMIS systems. In light of thesechanges, it is important to re-formulate the expectation that a modern EMIS should not only serve as a tool for national statistical reporting but rather as a tool to support digitized administrative management at all levels through the provision of timely and actionable information services, and that, furthermore, it should not only support administrative management but also directly support learning management, including within hybrid and blended learning modalities. This paper, and the discussions during the second International EMIS Conference, stressed that to implement a modern EMIS, it will be important for policy makers to create the necessary (i) legal, policy and institutional frameworks, specifying key EMIS and data governance processes and providing sustained funding commitments to support a multi-year process, (ii) invest in upgrading and sustaining the technological infrastructure, and to (iii) heavily invest in human capacity building.The paper also explores the potential contributions that frontier technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain can make to future EMISs and discusses the role of a community of practice as well as guiding principles for the further evolution of EMISs.
This publication investigates the evidence on the gendered impacts of extended school closures and periods out of school. The aim is to ensure that responses to the current and future crises are informed by an understanding of how they affect education access, participation and outcomes, as well as children’s nutrition, health, well-being and protection. Building on the findings of 154 studies from every region of the world, it highlights how extended school closures and periods out of school deepen gendered exclusions and vulnerabilities – with the poorest children being the most affected. Seven different forms of gendered impact on education processes are delineated, linked to failures to address the needs, rights and capabilities of girls, boys, women and men, and to build institutional structures to sustain equality and protect from violence.
Loise Gichuhi; Jane Kalista
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprec-edented disruption to social, economic, and cultural life worldwide. In Kenya, when schools and universities closed in March 2020, nearly 18 million Kenyan learners were affected, putting at stake not only the considerable economic, social, and political gains experienced by the country over the past decade, but also the significant commit-ment the Government has made to providing inclusive, quality education. This analysis aims to provide policy recom-mendations to strengthen the leadership of ministries of education (MoEs) and collabo-ration with partners to continue to provide quality education in crisis situations. It seeks to shed light on this central question: What facilitates government leadership in crisis and risk management in education and how can humanitarian and development actors more effectively support the Ministry of Education in Kenya to lead effective educa-tion service delivery during crises?
Based on an analysis of 35 countries, this brief report aims to provide a current overview of national health and safety protocols to keep schools open, their dimensions and how they are designed, implemented and regulated to ensure the continuation of education. It also aims to guide education systems by outlining some lessons learnt and effective practices on how the reopening of schools might be achieved safely and successfully. Finally, the report seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the impacts of the protocols on learning as well as the social and emotional well-being, health and development of learners and teachers.In a changing environment where infection rates are increasing at an exponential rate, it also explores how the Omicron variant is affecting current operations and what education systems should do to keep schools open while ensuring that all students are safe and learning.
School closures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have caused unprecedented disruption for nearly 1.6 billion learners across the globe. Beyond alarming effects on learning loss and school dropout, they pose an immediate and long-term threat to gender equality, with gender-specific effects on health, well-being and protection. This publication exposes these impacts and calls for effective strategies to ensure education continuity, promote gender equality and improve lives and futures. Through a review of published research, a global survey of actions taken by organizations in favour of gender equality in education, and in-depth data collection in five countries, UNESCO and its partners underline the challenges faced by children and young people to continue learning, and to return to school safely. When schools shut also showcases the efforts made by governments and the international community to mitigate harm and safeguard progress towards gender equality in and through education.
The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is without parallel and the effects on learning are severe. The crisis brought education systems across the world to a halt, with school closures affecting more than 1.6 billion learners. While nearly every country in the world offered remote learning opportunities for students, the quality and reach of such initiatives varied greatly and were at best partial substitutes for in-person learning. Now, 21 months later, schools remain closed for millions of children and youth, and millions more are at risk of never returning to education. Evidence of the detrimental impacts of school closures on children’s learning offer a harrowing reality: learning losses are substantial, with the most marginalized children and youth often disproportionately affected. The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery charts a path out of the global education crisis and towards building more effective, equitable and resilient education systems.
Harriet Nannyonjo; Joao Pedro Wagner De Azevedo; Maryam Akmal (et al.)
As the pandemic amplified inequalities in education, the need to leverage the potential of rapid technological change and digital connectivity in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) became evident. Technology can introduce agile ways of delivering education services, but to leave no one behind and efficiently use resources, it is critical to engage partners as success can only be achieved when governments, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders work towards a common goal. The Global Education Coalition (GEC), with 200 partners operating in 112 countries, is deploying cross-country missions and conducting large-scale data collection and advocacy. The Coalition is a community committed to responding to the COVID-19 crisis, building resilience, and reimagining education to leave no one behind, in line with SDG 4.
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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