Paris, 24 March — As school closures impact nearly 80% of the world’s student population, UNESCO on Monday convened an online meeting of an ad hoc group of education ministers who shared information about scaled-up measures deployed in their countries to support teachers, parents and students in coping with home learning. They also pointed to emerging challenges that require global cooperation.
The ad hoc Group, set up after the first online meeting of education ministers organized by UNESCO on 10 March, consists of 11 countries from all regions: Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, France, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru and Senegal.
Over the past 10 days, the number of students affected by school and university closures in 138 countries has nearly quadrupled to 1.37 billion, representing more than 3 out of 4 children and youth worldwide. In addition, nearly 60.2 million teachers are no longer in the classroom.
Opening the meeting, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay stressed that the “the responsibility to act is a collective one,” and announced the forthcoming establishment of a Global Covid-19 Education Coalition to further mobilize the expertise of multiple partners and strengthen support to national educational responses.