The world went through the worst education crisis on record for two years, resulting in varying lengths of school closures, although progress was made in the second year.
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Countries are adapting For Unesco, the global disruption to education caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is the worst education crisis on record.
“However, there is a notable change between December 2021 and January 2022: there are no more mass school closures, the States have managed to stabilize a new crisis management model with the ability to keep schools open thanks to to the adoption of reinforced and secure health protocols, ”assures Unesco to AFP.
Countries such as France, Brazil and Mexico have implemented new measures, such as distancing, case-by-case closures, in addition to traditional hand washing or wearing a mask, we continue the same source.
France, Canada or Italy have also resorted to tests.
Currently, schools are open in 35 countries. Around the world, 25 countries have also chosen at the start of the year to postpone the reopening of their schools after the holidays around Christmas. Twelve have chosen to close them completely, against 40 countries on the same date last year, according to Unesco.
“The message that it is essential to leave schools open, from a social point of view and for the well-being of children, has therefore passed to the level of the various States”, welcomes Unesco.
The countries that have closed their schools the longest Over the past two years, the countries that have closed their schools the longest, i.e. more than 60 weeks, are Bangladesh, Kuwait, the Philippines, Uganda and Venezuela.
If partial shutdowns are taken into account, Uganda totaled more than 60 weeks of total shutdown and 23 weeks of partial shutdown, Bolivia totaled 43 weeks and 39 weeks respectively, Nepal totaled 35 and 47 weeks respectively and finally India 25 weeks and 57 weeks.
The countries that have closed the leastFour countries in the world have never resorted to closing their schools for two years: Belarus, Burundi, Nauru and Tajikistan.
A dozen have never resorted to total shutdown, including Russia, the United States and Australia. Oceania is the region of the world that has closed its classes the least.
France, with a total closure of 7 weeks and a partial closure of 5 weeks, is one of the 10% of countries in the world which have closed their schools the least.
The consequences The more or less long closure of schools or higher education establishments has had dramatic consequences, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. In this category, the share of children affected by learning poverty – from 53% before the pandemic – could potentially reach 70%.
Parts of Brazil, Pakistan, rural India, South Africa and Mexico, among others, are experiencing substantial learning losses in mathematics and reading.
According to Unesco, by 2030, “no region of the world plans to achieve universal secondary education”, “teachers estimate that only a third of pupils will have basic skills in mathematics” and “33% of pupils will not be able to read a sentence at the end of primary school”.
In the long term, the generation of young people currently in school risks losing nearly 17 trillion dollars in income due to the deficiencies caused by the closures of establishments linked to the pandemic, alarm the World Bank and the UN agencies.
“The loss of learning that many children experience is morally unacceptable. And the potential increase in learning poverty could have a devastating impact on the future productivity, earnings and well-being of this generation of children and young people, their families and global economies,” said Jaime Saavedra, global director for education at the World Bank, quoted in a report published in December.
The priority now is to “bring all children back to school, especially girls in some countries”, notes Unesco.