COVID-19: Limiting the impact of the pandemic on education

Photo credit: Chandra Kiran Katta 

The COVID-19 crisis has deprived 1.53 billion children worldwide of education (UNESCO). In our areas of intervention, the 2,000 schools we work with have all closed and our 1.2 million beneficiaries have all been impacted. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Aide et Action has been innovating and adapting its activities in the field to meet the emergency needs of vulnerable and marginalized populations. But the objective of our response plan is broader: to limit the impact of the Coronavirus on education.  

The effects of the current health crisis are threatening the progress made in education in recent years and the chances of achieving the goals set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda (ODD4), while the COVID-19 is further weakening the populations living in extreme poverty. This is why Aide et Action is adopting a multidimensional approach in two phases. The first phase consists in meeting the immediate needs of the communities and ensuring educational continuity, despite the closure of schools. The second phase will focus on a long-term approach to limit the negative effects of this crisis on the educational future of the communities we support.

Adapting for better protection

In our countries of operation, our teams do their utmost to meet the needs of those who need it most. Hygiene awareness campaigns, installation of sanitary stations, distribution of basic kits, food support or e-learning, many activities have been developed in India, Togo, Cambodia or Romania. 

In terms of education, Aide et Action is nevertheless concerned about the lasting effects of the pandemic on children's schooling, especially for children from ethnic minorities, those with disabilities or those living in disadvantaged areas, for whom a prolonged absence from school significantly increases the risk of dropping out. Indeed, UNESCO estimates that 25% of children are at risk of dropping out of school permanently as a result of the crisis. 

Focus on the long term

This is why, after the emergency, we must now adopt a more sustainable approach. The effects of this crisis will most likely extend into the coming months, which may further weaken the most vulnerable communities. This is why the second phase of the response plan is part of a broader perspective. Our objective is to anticipate and fill the main gaps exacerbated by the crisis, such as the gaps in children's educational development or the increase in internal and external migration of young people. Aide et Action also plans to develop its accelerated learning programs and remedial classes in order to minimize the risk of children dropping out of school once the crisis is over. Populations already marginalized by geographical distance, disability, gender or ethnic origin will receive the necessary material and psychosocial support to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their future.

Aide et Action works with local authorities, governments, NGOs and other organizations to ensure that children's rights continue to be respected even in times of crisis.

On the same theme :

Related projects :