The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is unparalleled and the effects on learning are severe. The crisis has crippled education systems around the world, with school closures affecting more than 1.6 billion learners. While nearly every country in the world offered distance learning opportunities to students, the quality and scope of these initiatives varied widely and were at best partial substitutes for in-person learning. Today, 21 months later, schools remain closed for millions of children and young people, and millions more are at risk of never returning to school. Evidence of the detrimental effects of school closures on children’s learning offers a heartbreaking reality: learning losses are substantial, with the most marginalized children and young people often disproportionately affected.
Countries have an opportunity to accelerate the recovery of learning and make schools more efficient, equitable and resilient by building on the investments made and lessons learned during the crisis. Now is the time to move from crisis to recovery – and beyond recovery, to resilient and transformative education systems that truly deliver learning and well-being to all children and young people.