Remote Learning and Beyond
For months now, the great majority of the world’s schoolchildren – some 1.6 billion at the peak of the crisis – have been out of school, leaving parents, teachers and children themselves grappling with the realities of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Never has the gap been more glaring between the children who have access to technology and learning tools and those who do not. In 71 countries worldwide, less than half the population has access to the internet. In sub-Saharan Africa this ratio is less than one quarter. Despite this disparity, most countries are using remote learning solutions to deliver some form of education for students at home – online platforms, traditional media of radio and television, and even traditional printed leaflets.
Even before lockdowns, the world was already facing a learning crisis, with more than 50 per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries unable to read by the age of 10 (defined as ‘learning poverty’). In low-income countries, the learning crisis is even more acute, with the learning poverty rate reaching 93 per cent.
As some schools in some countries begin to tentatively re-open – with restrictions and risks alike – the ‘elephant in the classroom’ looms large: how can schools become safer and better at addressing learning poverty in the COVID era?
On Thursday 18 June at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti will present its fourth Leading Minds Online webcast series ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children: Remote Learning and Beyond’. A panel of high-level experts will look at how the global pandemic and resulting school closures are worsening learning gaps, and deepening the learning crisis. A selection of audience questions will be asked and answered during the webcast, and a recording and summary available shortly afterward.
Henrietta H Fore Executive Director, UNICEF
Henrietta Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director in January 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career spanning more than four decades.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner, Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Mariya Gabriel was the Vice-President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament from 2014-2017. She was a Member of the European Parliament, EPP/GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) from 2009-2017. Since 2012, Mariya Gabriel has served as Vice-President of EPP Women. Prior to this she was Parliamentary Secretary to MEPs from the GERB political party within the EPP Group.
Julia Gillard Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education
Julia Gillard joined the Global Partnership for Education as chair of the Board of Directors in 2014 and is former Prime Minister of Australia. Following her passion for education, she was later appointed a Commissioner at the International Commission for Global Education Opportunity and Patron at CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education.
Robert Jenkins Chief, Education and Associate Director, UNICEF
Robert Jenkins brings over 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian programming in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Jenkins served as the UNICEF Representative, Jordan, from 2014-2019, and Deputy Director, Division of Policy and Strategy in UNICEF Headquarters from 2009-2014.
David Moinina Sengeh Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Government of Sierra Leone
As Minister David Sengeh leads efforts to provide opportunities for children and adults to acquire knowledge and skills, as well as, nurture good attitudes and values for economic growth. He also serves as Chief Innovation Officer for the nation’s Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi Global Director, Education, World Bank
Jaime Chanduvi rejoined the World Bank Group from the Government of Peru, where he served as Minister of Education from 2013 through 2016. Throughout his career, he has led groundbreaking work in the areas of poverty and inequality, employment and labor markets, the economics of education, and monitoring and evaluation systems.
Mathieu Brossard Chief, Education, UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti
Matt joined UNICEF in 2012 as Senior Advisor in the Education Section at UNICEF Headquarters where he was leading the Systems, Innovation, Data and Evidence for Results (SIDER) team. Prior to UNICEF, Matt served at the World Bank as Senior Education Economist and at UNESCO as Education Policy Analyst.
Chief of Education
Executive Director, UNICEF
Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education
Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Government of Sierra Leone
European Commissioner, Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Chief, Education and Associate Director, UNICEF
Global Director, Education, World Bank
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