Business as usual is not an option, write Jutta Urpilainen and Henrietta Fore
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” These words by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai could not ring more true. Making sure girls and boys all over the world get good quality education is how we will build a more sustainable, more equal and more peaceful world.
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in unprecedented disruption to children’s education, with more than a billion students affected.
Those who have returned to school are presented with new challenges – masks, social distancing, lack of access to handwashing facilities and fears of getting sick. As the digital divide deepens, most will have missed out on the chance to learn from home over the past few months. They will have fallen behind as a result, making the return to classrooms more daunting for them – and for their teachers.
The Flexible Learning Strategies for Out of School Children programme is a UNESCO initiative with the aim of supporting inclusive and quality education for every child in the region. Our goal is to reach the remaining and most vulnerable 5% of children with no access to education in the region and support quality improvements in learning for every child.
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