The Covid-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented disruption to education that threatens both current learning and future earnings of millions of children around the world. We urgently need new approaches to support improvements, including debt reductions so that countries can fund the basic schooling required in the years ahead.
Even before the pandemic, there were growing concerns about the widespread extent of “learning poverty” — the inability to read and understand a basic text by the age of 10.
An estimated 53 per cent of children in lower- and middle-income countries lacked these basic skills — and that proportion could increase to 63 per cent after the crisis. Over the long term, the current generation of students stands to lose $10tn in earnings as a result of education they will have missed.
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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