Today we will take an honest look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected education in general (extracts taken of The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021, for more information check out https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2021/).
Before the pandemic, progress in education was already too slow to achieve SDG Goal 4 (Sustainable Development Goal) by 2030, declaring to ensure equal access to all levels of education for children and people in vulnerable situations. Since 2020, the situation has deteriorated even further:
One year into the pandemic, 2 in 3 students were still affected by full or partial school closures
One hundred million more children than before fail to demonstrate basic reading skills
Many risk never returning to school; some are forced into child marriage or child labor
An additional 101 million children fall below the minimum reading requirements, increasing the total number of students falling behind to 584 million in 2020
And it gets even worse:
An estimated 65% of governments in low- and lower-middle-income countries, and 35% in upper-middle- and high-income countries have reduced funding for education since the onset of the pandemic!
The bottom line is that, unfortunately, the poorest and most vulnerable children suffer the most from this crisis, which exacerbates longstanding inequalities. Recovery of the learning deficit globally could occur by 2024, but only if extraordinary efforts are made. Supporting vulnerable children and communities in the Global South is more important than ever before to be able to achieve equal access to education.
Let’s do this together!