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Gina Crivello; Agazi Tiumelissan; Karin Heissler
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history. Throughout 2020 most governments around the world temporarily closed schools and other learning spaces in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries. This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education inrecent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.
If all children are to reach their full potential in life, they must have an equal chance of receiving an education of good quality. The critical importance of education for the prospects and prosperity of individuals, communities and entire nations is recognized in Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with SDG 4 calling for inclusive and equitable quality education for all. However, too often, the most marginalized children are left behind, including girls, ethnic and linguistic minorities, migrants and refugees, children with disabilities, and those from low-income families or living in remote areas. Yet education’s unique power to act as a catalyst for wider development goals can be fully realized only if it is equitable.If all children are to be fully included in education, we need to understand the factors that inhibit and exclude the most vulnerable from learning. The 2021 Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia report on inclusion and education aims to fill key knowledge gaps and provide evidence-based recommendations to assist governments and other key education stakeholders in strengthening inclusion and SDG 4 implementation across the region.
Catherine Porter; Alula Pankhurst; Kath Ford
Selim Gulesci; Manuela Puente Beccar; Diego Ubfal
This report presents an empirical overview of what works to support learning outcomes for girls in emergencies. Research shows that girls in emergencies are disadvantaged at all stages of education and are more likely to be out-of-school than in non-emergency settings. Girls are also struggling to learn. This solutions book seeks to highlight promising evidence-based actions in education for decision makers who are designing and implementing interventions to support girls’ education in low and middle-income country humanitarian settings and settings where education has been interrupted by the COVID‑19 pandemic. It documents practical examples of approaches that have been or are being tested, and from which lessons can be drawn. The overarching aim is that this evidence be used to inform programming in crises and support diverse stakeholders in mitigating the impact of emergencies on girls’ education.
Artur Borkowski; Javier Santiago Ortiz Correa; Donald A. P. Bundy; Carmen Burbano; Chika Hayashi; Edward Lloyd-Evans; Jutta Neitzel; Nicolas Reuge
In 2019, 135 million people in 55 countries were in food crises or worse, and 2 billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. COVID-19 has exacerbated these hardships and may result in an additional 121 million people facing acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. Further, since the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 1.6 billion learners in 199 countries worldwide were affected by school closures, with nearly 370 million children not receiving a school meal in 150 countries.
The paper presents the evidence on the potential negative short-term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during Covid-19 globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions, and how prioritizing school re-opening is critical. For instance, it highlights how girls are at greater risk of not being in school or of being taken out of school early, which may lead to poor nutrition and health for themselves and their children. However, well-designed school feeding programmes have been shown to enable catch-up from early growth failure and other negative shocks. As such, once schools re-open, school meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school.
COVID-19 is creating a girls’ education crisis in Ethiopia, threatening to reverse the country’s recent progress towards gender equality in education. Over the last two decades, the Ethiopian government has expanded its education system and made important gains for girls at the primary and secondary levels. The net enrolment rate in elementary school increased from 29% in 1989 to 86% in 2017. The same year the Gender Parity Index also reached 0.90 at the primary level and 0.87 at the secondary level. However, harmful traditional practices, social norms and poverty continue to prevent girls from completing their education, resulting in high dropout rates at the secondary level.
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the already acute girls’ education crisis in Pakistan. Poverty, gender and marginalisation have intersected to accentuate inequalities, making it harder than ever for girls from poorer, rural households to learn. If leaders don’t act now, these girls may never return to school. In Girls’ education and COVID-19 in Pakistan, Malala Fund and our Education Champions highlight the impact of school closures on students in all four provinces with an emphasis on girls’ experiences. The report details the pandemic’s dire effects on household finances and how this economic crisis has the potential to prevent even more girls from completing their education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected marginalised populations around the world. As schools close and classes move online, girls from underprivileged backgrounds struggle to access distance learning resources and devices like smartphones or tablets. Families also rely on daughters to help with domestic chores, taking away time from their studies. In this report, Malala Fund and our Education Champions lay out a roadmap for how government officials at all levels can ensure the safe, gender-responsive reopening of schools, alleviate the economic effects of the pandemic to help families prioritise education, protect education gains and build back India’s education system with gender at the centre to promote inclusive growth and ensure every girl can learn.
COVID-19 is creating a girls’ education crisis in Nigeria. Girls and young women are the first to be removed from school, the least likely to learn from home and the last to return to the classroom. Before the pandemic, the education system in Nigeria was already strained and characterised by stark gender inequalities.Now fears of COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the pandemic threaten to prevent even more girls from returning to the classroom. If leaders don’t act now, we risk losing another generation of girls.
OVID-19 has affected Indonesian women and men differently. Although men are more likely to die from the pandemic, women’s mental health is taking a bigger toll. With school closures many women are now spending more time helping their children with schoolwork, and other forms of unpaid care and domestic work have also increased at home. As a result of the crisis, women’s paid work time and access to public transit have decreased, putting their livelihoods at stake. At a time when social distancing measures have rendered traditional data collection methods impossible, these effects are hard to capture. In response to this challenge, UN Women’s has partnered with Indosat Ooredoo to find innovative solutions to pursue data collection. These timely findings are important to inform response policies that meet the needs of women and men.
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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