16 Marzo 2020 Off Di Direzione Rivista Siti Unesco

In response to a surge in school and university closures to contain the spread of COVID-19, UNESCO on Tuesday convened a global videoconference of high education officials to step up the emergency response and share strategies to minimize learning disruption worldwide. Seventy-three countries were represented including 24 education ministers and 15 vice ministers.

According to data released today by UNESCO, the crisis is now impacting close to 363 million learners worldwide, from the pre-primary to tertiary level, including 57.8 million students in higher education. One in five students worldwide is staying away from school due to the COVID-19 crisis and an additional one in four is being kept out of higher education establishments.

Fifteen countries have ordered nationwide school closures and 14 have implemented localized closures, spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

In addition to monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on education, UNESCO has published a curated list of freely accessible learning applications and platforms for use by parents, teachers and learners, as well as school systems. It is urging countries to use inclusion and equity as guiding principles when planning responses, recognizing that school closures hit vulnerable learners the hardest. FREE EDUCATION TOOLS >>

UNESCO’s expertise in open and distance learning spans teacher training platforms, the design of e-learning school models, online communities of practice and the development of national ICT in education policies, with a priority focus on Africa.

“We are facing an unusual situation with a large number of countries affected by the same issue at the same time. We need to come together not only to address the immediate educational consequences of this unprecedented crisis, but to build up the longer-term resilience of education systems,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education.

Tarek Galal Shawki, Minister of Education of Egypt, for his part, thanked UNESCO for taking this initiative and providing real-time examples of how other countries are handling a fast-changing situation.