Building resilient education systems in the COVID-19 era
A record number of children and young people have been affected by the closure of education institutions to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. From learning losses, to negative impacts on physical and mental health and well-being, hundreds of millions of students have been put at risk. Pre-existing inequalities have been exacerbated. The response to COVID-19 must involve strengthening education systems to ensure they can overcome adversity and are resilient to the risks they face. According to a COVID-19 Education issue note produced by UNESCO’s section for Health and Education and International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), crisis and risk management should be institutionalized in education systems, and specific programmatic options can help prevent disease outbreaks and pandemics from affecting education communities. The issue note, Building back resilient: How can education systems prevent, prepare for and respond to health emergencies and pandemics?, presents concrete recommendations to build resilient education systems, strengthening them to respond to the immediate challenges of reopening schools and positioning them to better cope with future crises. The recommendations cover actions that address prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics to help ensure no child or young person is denied the fundamental right to education.