UNESCO’s Support: Educational Response to COVID-19

June 4, 2020


Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These nationwide closures are impacting almost 60% of the world’s student population. Several other countries have implemented localized closures impacting millions of additional learners.

UNESCO is supporting countries in their efforts to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures, particularly for more vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, and to facilitate the continuity of education for all through remote learning. UNESCO is working with ministries of education in affected and concerned countries to ensure continued learning for all children and youth through alternative channels.

Global response

  • Global education coalition to support countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk
  • Technical assistance to quickly prepare and deploy inclusive distant learning solutions, utilizing hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech approaches.
  • Webinars for minister of education officials and other stakeholders to share information about country efforts to maintain the provision of inclusive education in different contexts. Country representatives who wish to join should contact: COVID19taskforce@unesco.org.
  • Thematic knowledge-sharing workshops: Setting educational radios and televisions
  • Production of Issue notes covering key topics related to the COVID-19 education response. Those issue note provide evidence of good practices, practical tips and links to important reference to mitigate the short and longer term impact of school closures.
  • A selection of digital learning resources that governments, schools, teachers, parents can use to open opportunities for learners unable to attend to school.
  • A repository of national learning platforms designed to support the continuity of curriculum-based study.
  • Surveys to analyze the impact of and response to school closures. The following surveys have been done or are underway:
    • UNESCO on national education responses
    • UNESCO Chairs on higher education
    • UNESCO-ILO on technical and vocational education and training
    • Global Survey on staff development and training in the context of COVID-19 pandemic
    • UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank on distance learning responses
    • Regional UNESCO-UNICEF on early children education workforce in Asia and the Pacific
  • Partnerships to expand national and local capacities to assure the remote provision of education. Organizations interested in joining the UNESCO Coalition that matches offers of service and assistance with country needs should send an email to: COVID19taskforce@unesco.org.
  • Minister-level virtual meetings for policy learning about efforts to initiate and scale up responses to school closures, building on the success of the UNESCO-organized 10 March virtual ministerial meeting.
  • Global monitoring of country-wide and localized school closures and the number of learners affected.

Regional responses

Dedicated pages present responses proposed at regional level: