UNESCO’s education response to COVID-19

After the historic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools are back open worldwide but education is still in recovery assessing the damage done and lessons learned. The pandemic affected more than 1.5 billion students and youth with the most vulnerable learners were hit hardest. Some gains already made towards the goals of the 2030 Education Agenda were lost.

From the outset UNESCO's Education Sector worked with ministries of education, public and private partners and civil society to ensure continued learning for all children and youth. The Sector's work is now focused on prioritizing education as a public good for everyone in order to avoid a generational catastrophe and drive sustainable recovery.

Key in its initiatives was the establishment  of the Global Education Coalition, a new model for international cooperation which develops innovative responses to help countries cope with the after effects of the crisis. It counts more than 175 members working around three central themes: gender, connectivity and teachers.


Young children with book and covid mask

Global Response

High-level ministerial meetings

creating a space for policy dialogue on education recovery to leave no learner behind:

Global Education Coalition
Global monitoring through interactive maps

to follow the evolution of school closures & learning loss across the world

Campaigns mounted by UNESCO

to ensure continuity of learning and that girls remain in school.

Ideas and views:

a round up of think pieces, articles and blogs on UNESCO's education response to COVID-19 and other issues.

Webinars and workshops

to share information on countries' efforts to maintain inclusive education provision in different contexts

Issue notes

Evidence to mitigate the short and long-term impact of school closures

Digital Learning Resources

To support governments, schools, teachers, parents reaching out to learners unable to attend to school.

National Learning Platforms

To support the continuity of curriculum-based study


Regional responses

Dedicated pages present responses proposed at regional level:

Socio-economic and cultural impacts of COVID-19 on Africa: what responses from UNESCO

​​​Arab States

Alternative solutions to school closures in Arab countries to ensure that learning never stops

​​Asia Pacific

​​​​​​​COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response in Asia-Pacific

Latin America and the Caribbean

Responding to COVID-19: Education in Latin America and the Caribbean


Where are we on education recovery?
What’s next? Lessons on education recovery: findings from a survey of ministries of education amid the COVID-19 pandemic
UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti
World Bank
June 2021
When schools shut: gendered impacts of COVID-19 school closures
Supported with funding from the Global Partnership for Education