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Ieva Raudonytė; Tuamanaia Foimapafisi
How do countries in sub-Saharan Africa use data from large-scale learning assessments in different phases of the educational planning cycle? What facilitates and impedes the use of the data? How can governments and development partners sustain and improve the use of learning data? The new IIEP-UNESCO publication compares data from The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Senegal, and Zambia to answer these questions. It explores the complex dynamics of the use of learning data, examining among other factors, the interactions among the different actors.
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.
The aim of this case study is to present information on national or government-led distance learning programmes in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that this will enable reflection on the policy responses and their effectiveness in minimizing disruption and learning loss, enabling the continuity and quality of learning, and maintaining inclusion and equity.This case study of Finland is based on research that was conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture and its stakeholders during the pandemic and other information available in public domain. Extensive links to source documents have been provided throughout the text, and these are mostly in the Finnish language.
The Youth As Researchers (YAR) initiative is a youth development programme, designed to ensure, support, and advance youth voices. It provides training and mentoring that supports youth to design and conduct social research, with a view to informing policy-making, programme design and future research.The initiative was first conceived by the UNESCO Chair on Children, Youth and Civic Engagement (Ireland), as a model to engage vulnerable youth in re-designing their own futures. It is premised on the belief that no-one knows better than young people themselves about their problems, and the solutions that will work for them. It gained traction in the current context, as UNESCO’s Member States are looking for innovative ways to address the challenges youth are facing. In engaging with the Social and Human Science Sector, and with UNESCO’s field offices, the youth-led research agenda delivered a strong message on the need to underpin policy decisions with scientific facts, and to ensure civil society is consulted on the issues at hand.
The aim of this case study is to present information on national or government-led distance learning programmes in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that this will enable reflection on the policy responses and their effectiveness in minimizing disruption and learning loss, enabling the continuity and quality of learning, and maintaining inclusion and equity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education for approximately 1.2 billion students across the Asia-Pacific, and forced the closure of many schools, precipitating a transition towards remote learning, albeit with uneven access and quality, and threatening to deepen the ‘learning crisis’ that already existed, particularly for the most vulnerable learners. As education systems in the Asia-Pacific seek to recover the learning loss due to the pandemic and address the broader learning crisis, it is incumbent on governments to identify appropriate recovery strategies in the short term. Also, governments need to support education system transformation so that all learners reach minimum proficiency in numeracy and literacy and acquire competencies needed to fulfil their potential –personal, social and economic. Learning recovery strategies will differ across the region, not the least because schools were fully or partially closed1for different lengths of time -for example, India (82 weeks), Indonesia (77 weeks), and Bangladesh (73 weeks). Other countries saw shorter closures, such as: Vanuatu (4 weeks), Papua New Guinea (6 weeks), and the Solomon Islands (7 weeks).
Teachers are the most important actors in improving students’ learning outcomes and thus in addressing a learning crisis in the region. Moreover, the unprecedented and extensive school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected about 43 million teachers in school education in the Asia-Pacific region. These teachers were at risk of losing their jobs due to budget cuts, they had to address the new challenge of teaching remotely, as well as worrying about their own and their families’ health and well-being. Throughout the school closures, teachers continued to teach under extremely fluid and trying conditions: increased workloads, having to use new and unfamiliar technologies without adequate training, experiencing a lack of materials for online instruction, high levels of physical and mental stress, and insufficient support.
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.
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.
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