Press release - 24 January 2021: 3rd International Education Day

Photo credit: Vincent Reynaud-Lacroze

The urgent need to support education in the face of the pandemic


Parison the 20th January 2021 - La 3ème International Education Day will be marked by worrying figures on education worldwide. In the context of a global pandemic and with 2021 still uncertain, Aide et Actionthe international association for development through education, calls on governments, including France, to urgently mobilise, particularly financially, in favour of education. 

Before the pandemic, 258 million children were already out of school and, even after several years in school, 1 in 6 children The major learning crisis - due to lack of materials, poor learning conditions and lack of teacher training - was already present before the advent of COVID-19. The major learning crisis - due to lack of materials, disastrous learning conditions or lack of teacher training - was thus already prevalent before the advent of COVID-19. 

Accumulation of crises. The sudden, multi-month closures of schools and universities during the lockdowns have resulted in millions of children and young people dropping out of school and millions of schoolchildren missing out on basic learning. Without access to digital tools, more than 465 million students have been denied learning opportunities and, as a result of increased poverty due to the pandemic, over 24 million of children are unlikely to return to school.

What impact on the world after? "These millions of excluded young people will have the world of tomorrow to (re)build. Urgent and massive measures and investments are more than ever crucial to put in place, as soon as possible, an efficient and inclusive education system, capable of welcoming all of them and ensuring them the minimum of 12 years of free and quality education, essential to their future and, consequently, to the world of the future. alert Charles-Emmanuel BALLANGER, International Director General of Aide et Action.

Political mobilisation. However, the announcements - and even promises - on this subject by many world political leaders have still not been followed up. In France, the draft law on solidarity and development, presented to the Council of Ministers last December, does not seem to take into account the seriousness of the impacts of COVID-19. For example, it makes no mention of new support for developing countries and gives no visibility on France's future commitments to education. The many events planned for 2021 (the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait refinancing conferences, the Generation Equality Forum and the G7 summit) will be an opportunity for these same leaders to finally keep their word and make education a priority, especially financially.

Official Development Assistance. By setting up innovative educational projects - as, for example, in Cambodia, where it supported teachers so that they could record lessons that could be broadcast on the Internet, on television or on the radio Aide et Action is implementing innovative and effective educational practices and responses to the needs generated by the global COVID-19 crisis. But, "Despite their determination and their will to act, associations and organisations specialising in education will not succeed alone. We need, more than ever, the political and public powers to commit themselves to our side " insists Charles-Emmanuel BALLANGER. "Thus, we call on France to review its budgetary programming in order to finally reach, and as soon as possible, an Official Development Assistance equivalent to 0.7% of the national wealth and to allocate half of it to essential sectors, including education.

About Aide et Action 

Founded in 1981, Aide et Action, an international association for development through education, ensures access to quality education for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, especially children, girls and women, so that they can control their own development and contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. We promote lifelong learning because access to quality education helps to fight poverty and disease, limit climate change and build peace in a sustainable world. We focus on early childhood care and education, access to and quality of education at primary and secondary levels, as well as vocational training and social inclusion. Based on the values of dignity, inclusion and integrity, as well as on the principles of transparency, accountability and solidarity, and thanks to the support of our 51,000 donors, we are currently running 83 projects in Africa, Asia, Europe - and particularly in France - for more than 1.9 million children, young people and adults.

Press contact 

Anne Cassiot, Press/Public Relations Manager
[email protected]
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