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United Nation’s policy brief on the pandemic’s impact on education

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

United Nation’s policy brief on the pandemic’s impact on education:

Context:

United Nation has released its policy brief on the pandemic’s impact on education.

Key findings:

  1. More than 1.6 billion learners affected across the world by the disruption of the education system.
  2. Disparities increased: The pandemic has served to exacerbate existing disparities, with vulnerable populations in low-income countries taking a harder and longer hit.
  3. School dropouts: Almost 24 million children are at risk of not returning to school next year due to the economic fallout of COVID-19.
  4. Girls and young women are likely to be disproportionately affected as school closures make them more vulnerable to child marriage, early pregnancy and gender-based violence.
  5. Learning losses: Even for those who do not drop out of school, learning losses could be severe, especially in the foundational years.

Overall impact:

Simulations on developing countries participating in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) suggest that:

  1. Impact on learning: Without remediation, a loss of learning by one-third [equivalent to a three-month school closure] during Grade 3 might result in 72% of students falling so far behind that by Grade 10 they will have dropped out or will not be able to learn anything in school.
  2. The economic loss might reach $16,000 of lost earnings over a student’s lifetime, translating over time into $10 trillion of lost earnings globally.
  3. Increased financial gap: In early 2020, low and middle incomes faced a $148-billion gap between their education budgets and the money available to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of quality education. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to increase that financing gap by up to one-third.

What needs to be done?

Education budgets need to be protected and increased. And it is critical that education is at the heart of international solidarity efforts, from debt management and stimulus packages to global humanitarian appeals and official development assistance.

Sources: the Hindu.