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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report


2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report released by UNESCO.

In line with its mandate, the 2020 GEM Report assesses progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda.

Key findings:

COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in education systems across the world. About 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not supported learners at risk of exclusion during this crisis, such as the poor, linguistic minorities and learners with disabilities.

Efforts to maintain learning continuity during the pandemic may have actually worsened exclusion trends. During the height of school closures in April 2020, almost 91% of students around the world were out of school.

Issues with alternatives: Education systems responded with distance learning solutions, all of which offered less or more imperfect substitutes for classroom instruction.

  • Many poorer countries opted for radio and television lessons, 55% of low-income, 73% of lower-middle-income and 93% of upper-middle-income countries adopted for online learning platforms for primary and secondary education.
  • Even as governments increasingly rely on technology, the digital divide lays bare the limitations of this approach. Not all students and teachers have access to adequate internet connection, equipment, skills and working conditions to take advantage of available platforms.

School closures also interrupted support mechanisms from which many disadvantaged learners benefit.

  • Resources for blind and deaf students may not be available outside schools.
  • Children with learning disabilities or those who are on the autism spectrum may struggle with independent work in front of a computer or the disruption of daily school routines.
  • For poor students who depend on school for free meals or even free sanitary napkins, closures have been a major blow.

Cancellation of examinations in many countries, including India, may result in scoring dependent on teachers’ judgements of students instead.

  • This could be affected by stereotypes of certain types of students.


Prelims Link:

  1. Who releases this report?
  2. Overview of report.
  3. About UNESCO and its key programmes.
  4. What are SDGs?
  5. SDG goals on education.

Mains Link:

Discuss how global COVID 19 pandemic has affected the education worldwide.

Sources: the Hindu.