unprecedented global coalition of organisations has called for urgent
investment in education to prevent a generational catastrophe.
a joint white paper at the Global Education Meeting hosted by Unesco,
the Save Our Future campaign – a movement of the biggest education
multilaterals in partnership with over 600 civil society organisations,
research organisations, foundations, media, youth and influencers – put
forward an evidence-based roadmap with concrete recommendations for
governments to build education systems back better for post-coronavirus
“We have learned from past crises that children
at highest risk who are missing out on education may never return to the
classroom. We cannot allow this to happen as a result of the
pandemic. As we build back, we must view educators as among the first
responders and focus financing on the children who are being left the
furthest behind. Let’s enable a better future for all by ensuring equity
and inclusion through the provision of quality education,” Educate A
Child executive director Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi said in a press statement
issued by Education Above All (EAA) Foundation yesterday.
cent of students in all countries and continents – 1.6bn children and
youth – had their education disrupted due to the pandemic.
before have so many children missed out on school. This is the greatest
disruption of education systems in history. With the catalytic impact
education has across health, jobs, income growth, climate change,
poverty reduction and social justice, the next generation faces
devastating consequences if education emergency will not be addressed,”
the statement noted.
Despite the dire and known social and economic
impacts of this fast-growing education emergency, there is imminent risk
that governments will deprioritise investments in education as they
make short-term fiscal responses to the pandemic.
This means that
low- and lower-middle-income countries could face an annual financing
gap of about $200bn. If governments and development partners do not act
urgently, this crisis could turn into a catastrophe from which millions
of children may never recover. The Save Our Future white paper calls on
governments and the international community to commit to ensure they
protect education budgets and target budgets to those left furthest
behind, fully finance education as a key part of the Covid recovery,
improve co-ordination, and use of evidence to ensure education funding
achieves maximum impact.
In addition, governments should also
prioritise reopening schools, resume delivering vital services such as
health and nutrition to children, and protect and treat the education
workforce as frontline workers, Transform education – making it more
inclusive, engaging, and adaptive so that it can act as the engine of
sustainable development that we desperately need, Strengthen the
education workforce so that teachers and other professionals are
equipped to enable learning and well-being for all children, Focus
education technology where it is proven to be effective and most
equitable and avoid the risk that technology continues to exacerbate