Story Source: Robert Jenkins and Rebecca Winthrop ~ Go to Original Article
Now, in the face of this pandemic, more than 70 percent of students around the world are still affected by nationwide school closures—or more than 1.26 billion children and youth. While we are just beginning to understand the socioeconomic impact, experiences from Ebola show us that girls will be among the hardest hit.
For many adolescent girls, especially those from low-income countries and the poorest communities, access to education was already a challenge even before COVID-19. A recent UNICEF report shows that nearly one in three adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world have never been to school, and estimates show that only 25 percent of the poorest girls in low-income countries complete primary school. Emergencies exacerbate preexisting inequalities and intensify the existing learning crisis.
Together, this data and lessons learned from our past experience tell us that we’ll need to do more than simply reopen classrooms to make it possible for the poorest and most marginalized girls to return to school. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform education and reimagine the way students learn, so that when schools reopen, they are more gender-responsive and inclusive, help all students to learn, look after all students’ health and well-being, and are digitally connected.
Drawing on existing evidence, including the “What Works in Girls’ Education” Brookings book, and on-the-ground know-how, we recommend governments and their partners take the following five steps to ensure marginalized girls, alongside boys, can continue their education.