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The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery

December 6, 2021




Simultaneous interpretation available in

Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish

  • The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is without parallel and the effects on learning are severe. The crisis brought education systems across the world to a halt, with school closures affecting more than 1.6 billion learners. While nearly every country in the world offered remote learning opportunities for students, the quality and reach of such initiatives varied greatly and were at best partial substitutes for in-person learning. Now, 21 months later, schools remain closed for millions of children and youth, and millions more are at risk of never returning to education. Evidence of the detrimental impacts of school closures on children’s learning offer a harrowing reality: learning losses are substantial, with the most marginalized children and youth often disproportionately affected.

    This December 6th, building on the close collaboration of UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank under the Mission: Recovering Education, the three organizations will launch a joint report on the state of the crisis.

    The Report – titled “The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery” – charts a path out of the global education crisis and towards building more effective, equitable, and resilient education systems.

    Learning losses can be reversed if countries act now!

    The cost of keeping schools closed is steep and threatens to widen existing disparities for children and youth. Reopening schools and keeping them open should remain the highest priority for countries, as growing evidence indicates that with adequate measures, health risks to children and education staff can be minimized.

    The event will feature the participation of Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education, UNICEF, Jaime Saavedra, Global Director of Education, the World Bank, as well as a panel of government officials and international education stakeholders who will reflect on the evidence presented in the joint report and lessons from country experiences in support of learning recovery from around the world. The panel will be moderated by Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor, Financial Times.

  • Panelists

    Stefania Giannini

    Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO

    Robert Jenkins

    Global Director of Education, UNICEF

    Jaime Saavedra

    Global Director, Education Global Practice, the World Bank

    Joan Oviawe

    Edo State Commissioner for Education, Nigeria

    Rossieli Soares

    Secretary of Education of the State of São Paulo, Brazil

    Martin Gustafsson

    Stellenbosch University, South Africa

    Joao Pedro Azevedo

    Lead Economist and co-author of the report

    Halsey Rogers

    Lead Economist and co-author of the report


    Andrew Jack

    Global Education Editor, Financial Times