On the International Day of Education UNESCO calls for increased and better financing of education
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, over 800 million students, more than half the world’s student population, still face significant disruptions to their education, ranging from full school closures in 31 countries to reduced or part-time academic schedules in another 48 countries.
“Prolonged and repeated closures of education institutions are taking a rising psycho-social toll on students, increasing learning losses and the risk of dropping out, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. Full school closures must therefore be a last resort and reopening them safely a priority“.
UNESCO data shows that the sector only receives an estimated 0.78% of relief packages worldwide. Additionally, aid to education looks set to decline by 12% as a result of the pandemic. According to our findings, the pandemic also stands to increase the funding gap for education by one third to as much as $200 billion annually in low and middle-income countries, representing close to 40% of total cost. Upfront investment in catch-up and remedial programmes will save money down the line reducing by 75% the cost of repairing the damage caused by COVID-19.
To mark the International Day of Education, UNESCO and the Global Partnership for Education, with UN Headquarters, are co-organizing an event to stress the necessity to protect and mobilize equitable funding for education, give voice to ‘community heroes’ who acted to leave no learner behind during school closures, and present innovations that pave the way towards more resilient and inclusive education systems.
Know more about this event and this publication on https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-figures-show-two-thirds-academic-year-lost-average-worldwide-due-covid-19-school