What have we learnt? Overview of findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19

October 28, 2020

By:  UNESCO, UNICEF y World Bank


Findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19


At the height of nationwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, causing an unprecedented global learning crisis. Even prior to the pandemic, however, children’s learning was in crisis with half of 10-year-olds in middle- and low-income countries unable to understand a simple written sentence and more than a quarter billion children out of school. The pandemic has only sharpened these inequities, hitting schoolchildren in poorer countries particularly hard. National governments around the world have been quick to implement remote learning, new health protocols and reopening plans, but again these policies have varied widely based on each country’s wealth.


According to this new report published by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the start of the pandemic, compared to an average of six weeks among high-income countries. Compiling data from surveys on national education responses to COVID-19 from 149 countries between July and October, the report also finds that schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle income countries were less likely to have access to remote learning or to be monitored on a day-to-day basis by teachers and were more likely to have delays in their schools reopening.


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