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Mission: Recovering Education in 2021

Mission: Recovering EducationThe global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education has been devastating. According to the World Bank, more than 1.6 billion children have lost out on education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, as of March 2021, many children are still not back in school. The impact of COVID-19 on education systems globally is not just a short-term problem. These disruptions in education could potentially “amount to losses valued at $10 trillion in terms of affected children’s future earnings.” UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank have implemented a joint endeavor to ensure progress made on global education goals is not lost, especially since education is the key to poverty reduction. A 2016 report from Global Partnership for Education (GPE) states that 171 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty if all learners had basic reading skills. For this reason, Mission: Recovering Education in 2021 focuses on three primary goals.

Mission: Recovering Education in 2021: Goals

  1. All children return to school. The benefits of going to school extend beyond learning. Children also receive nutritious meals, vaccinations and psychosocial support, factors that are critical to a child’s well-being. In a remote learning environment, children lose these benefits, in addition to falling behind their expected learning curves. Mission: Recovering Education aims to reunite children across the globe with critical resources by focusing on two targets. The two targets involve bringing school enrollment back to pre-COVID-19 levels and ensuring that schools provide services to catch up on learning and well-being losses.
  2. Recovering learning loss. The pandemic may have caused children to fall behind their age-appropriate learning curves. Many learners may no longer be ready for a curriculum that they would have been ready for had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. Remedial learning will help students to bridge the gap. It is important for remedial learning to be seen as essential and not just a luxury. Additionally, social-emotional learning also needs to be incorporated into classroom settings as bouncing back from setbacks can be challenging for children. Furthermore, digital technology is suggested for teaching basic literacy and math skills.
  3. Preparing and empowering teachers. Mission: Recovering Education recognizes the vital role teachers play in the global education system. Without healthy and well-trained teachers, students will be unable to recover the many months of learning opportunities they lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovering the lost months of learning is essential to reducing global poverty rates. Teachers should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations and must receive support for implementing remedial education, incorporating social-emotional learning and transitioning to remote learning.

Looking Ahead

According to the GPE, education increases earnings by roughly 10% per year of further learning, supporting the fact that education reduces poverty. Mission: Recovering Education will incorporate monitoring tools to assess progress on its three primary goals. In doing so, the organization will help children globally recover as much lost education time as possible. This, in turn, will ensure that the global education system continues to lift children out of poverty.

Thomas McCall
Photo: Flickr