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Reframing education in COVID-19 era: Why education shapes societies’ economic, social and cultural restoration and recovery

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The halt on education, including school closures or activities disruption, has had a devastating domino effect with far-reaching social and economic impacts to families, communities and the whole of society. The toll is far higher for the most vulnerable and marginalized areas and groups. WeWorld – GVC is conducting a continuous analysis on the system-wide impacts both of the COVID-19 pandemic to education, and the impact of the educational crisis to any foreseen recovery plan post-pandemic.

WeWorld-GVC considers that there is irrefutable evidence on how the impact of the educational crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic determines the effectiveness of any societies’ economic, social and cultural restoration and recovery. For this reason, WeWorld-GVC welcomes The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) commitment to fund US$250 million for developing countries battling COVID-19 and UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition for COVID-19 response but considers that the donors, the aid community and governments should ensure relentless efforts to:

ORIENT POLICY

  1. Prioritize education in any COVID-19 recovery plan.
  2. Maintain and support the global commitment on Education in Emergencies (EiE) as a programmatic priority sustained by DG ECHO.
  3. Operationalize the policy recommendations set out by the SDG‐Education 2030 Steering Committee for COVID‐19 Education Response.
  4. Develop structured monitoring mechanisms to monitor home-learning environments.

DRIVE PROGRAM SOLUTIONS

  1. Ensure that inclusion and equity guiding principles are reflected in operational mechanisms a. by prioritizing those areas and families already left the most vulnerable and marginalized before the COVID-19 pandemic. b. by thoroughly applying mechanisms of analysis to understand local educational, socio‐economic and digital inequalities, and apply locally-driven mechanisms preventing them from widening, ensuring equal opportunities for all. c. by including outreach programs to marginalized areas in the design of educational systems and programs. d. by including specific gender and age safety nets, social protection or institutional support packages to families with children of appropriate age. e. by involving women and girls in the assessment and design of innovative and appropriate measures to ensure that girls remain educated, protected, and safe during and after the pandemic, and mitigate the additional burden usually falling onto women as main children care takers.
  2. Apply adaptive learning approaches.
  3. Support the educational services for children aged 0 to 6 years old.

INVEST

  1. Build on the changes and invest in new and tech-led modalities applied during the crisis.
  2. Invest in research and learning on how to combine solutions.
  3. Invest in the capacity of Teachers and Families.

Educational systems can be more resilient and better prepared for future crises only if the solutions rely on innovative ways to move from a schooling system (rooted in physical access to schools) to an Educational Community approach.