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The “global learning crisis” continues, says António Guterres; million still affected |

“If we do not act, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who cannot read could increase from 53 to 70%,” António Guterres warned in a statement. video message marking the international day of education, Monday.

The UN chief remembered the “chaos” that COVID-19[feminine causées dans l’éducation dans le monde, notant qu’au plus fort de la pandémie, quelque 1,6 milliard d’étudiants et d’étudiants ont vu leurs études interrompues.

Malgré l’amélioration, il estime que la crise n’est « pas encore terminée » et que les troubles vont au-delà des questions d’accès et d’inégalité.

The world changes

The theme of the day this year is “Changing course, transforming education”.

For Mr. Guterres, the world “is changing at a dizzying rate, with technological innovation, unprecedented changes in the world of work, the emergence of the climate emergency and a widespread loss of trust between people and institutions. “.

In this scenario, he believes that conventional education systems are “struggling” to provide the knowledge, skills and values ​​needed to create a greener, better and safer future for all.

Because of these challenges, he convenes a Education Transformation Summit in September.

Now is the time to rekindle our collective commitment to education“, he said.

For him, this means “putting education at the heart of broader recovery efforts, aimed at transforming economies and societies and accelerating progress on sustainable development”.

It is also financial solidarity with developing countries and understanding how to reform national education systems by 2030.

Mr. Guterres noted that the Summit will be the first time that world leaders, young people and all education stakeholders will come together to discuss these fundamental issues.

lost earnings

In a message, the President of the General Assembly, Abdullah Shahid, also stressed the need to reflect on the two-year impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighting the challenges created for the empowerment of children and young people, Mr Shahid mentioned a joint United Nations publication showing that students around the world could lose a total of $17 trillion in lifetime earnings due to these constraints. .

For him, this number is a call to bridge the digital divide, to empower girls and boys, especially those in rural and isolated areas, and to strengthen support for people living with disabilities, as well as other vulnerable groups. .

In a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and precariousness, knowledge, education and learning must be rethought“, he pleaded.

Mr Shahid also believes the world needs “an education system that could tap into the collective intelligence of humanity”.

“A system that advances, rather than reverses, our aspirations for inclusive education based on the principles of justice, equity and respect for human rights,” he concluded.

Lessons learned

According to new data published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Monday, schools are currently open in 135 countries, and in 25 nations it has been temporarily suspended by extending the end-of-year break.

Only a dozen countries have chosen to close schools and switch to fully remote rather than in-person learning since the Omicron variant was triggered.

This contrasts sharply with the same period last year, when most schools were closed and learning was entirely remote in 40 countries.

For the UN agency, this shows that a large majority of countries are using the lessons of the last two years to keep classrooms accessible, with reinforced health and safety protocols.

“Education continues to be deeply disrupted by the pandemic, but all countries are now acutely aware of the dramatic costs of maintaining school closures while UNESCO been saying for two years, noted the agency’s general manager, Audrey Azoulay.

Changes

A dozen countries surveyed – including Brazil, France, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Palestine and Ukraine – now use traffic light monitoring systems that trigger different measures depending on the level of infection: wearing a mask, hand washing, ventilation, but also indoor and outdoor distancing, and class closures on a case-by-case basis so as not to impact all students.

Other countries, including Canada, France, the UK and Italy, are also using mass rapid testing policies to stay.

Once again, UNESCO called for more efforts to vaccinate educators, noting teachers were not part of any priority group in up to a third of the countries.

Underperforming students

For the head of UNESCO, more action is needed to bring all the children who have been kept away from school back to school and to recover learning losses.

“Without corrective measures and a focus on the most vulnerable students, the COVID-19 pandemic will have dramatic long-term consequences,” Ms. Azoulay warned.

In reality, more than 50% of teachers report that students have not reached the expected levels, according to a large-scale surveyconducted by UNESCO and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

In the study, conducted in 11 countries, most teachers agreed that it was difficult to provide the necessary support to vulnerable students. And more than 50 percent of students said they were worried about the changes taking place.