Press release - COVID -19: One in five students out of school, an urgent international response

Photo credit: Education Coalition

102 countries closed schools throughout the country, affecting more than 849.4 million children and young people (UNESCO) These are the consequences today of COVID-19 on education. In view of this very worrying situation, thea Education CoalitionAide et Action, of which Aide et Action is a member, sends a message of solidarity to all children, young people and adults affected.s by the pandemic and calls on France to put in place the necessary measures to guarantee the Right to Education in the world and to protect the most excluded.

The governments of 113 countries have announced or implemented measures to close educational institutions in an attempt to contain the pandemic and 11 countries have carried out localised closures to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19. If governments in turn decide to close down all schools, tens of millions of learners will be left out in the cold.-s will be deprived of the right tos of education. (UNESCO).

In response to this health crisis, thenternational cooperation in education and knowledge sharing is fundamental. It is the key to building stronger and more resilient societies. "Against global threats, we must strengthening global public goodsx" says Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

The Education Coalition calls on France to remain mobilised and work in coordination with all partners to reduce the impact of COVID 19 on education and learning worldwide, and ensure the safety of learners, teachers and educational staff in the countries affected by the epidemic. Financial support to affected partner countries must be provided to build the resilience of education systems, with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised children, who are likely to be hardest hit by school closures and the impact of the pandemic.

Civil society organisations are working tirelessly to support and ensure the continuity of education provision in COVID-19-affected locations and the protection and well-being of students and education staff.

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Information sources : 

  • The International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) compiles and updates a list of resources which focuses on distance learning, alternative education and psychosocial support.   
  • UNESCO has developed and maintains a card learners, affected by the school closures caused by COVID-19.
  • The SME has joined forces with other education partners to share expert advice (prepared by UNICEF, WHO and the Red Cross) on potential actions that schools can take to help prevent COVID-19 and remain welcoming, respectful and inclusive environments for students.

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