“As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts,” says António Gutteres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his interview with Education Cannot Wait (ECW) for this monthly issue, reminding us that “upholding our pledge to leave no one behind starts with education.”
Education Cannot Wait’s interview with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, focused on the crucial role of education in the lives of crisis-affected children and youth, follows below.
ECW: Why is education a priority in emergencies and protracted crises?
: The COVID-19 pandemic has upended societies and created the largest-ever disruption of education systems, affecting more than 1.5 billion students. While remote solutions were rolled out, 1 in 3 children missed out on such opportunities, exposing and exacerbating inequalities and vulnerabilities, especially for those in crisis situations. In such circumstances, education protects girls and boys from sexual violence and exploitation, trafficking, early pregnancy and child marriage, forced recruitment into armed groups and child labour. It also ensures that they continue learning, offering them hope for the future. As we enter 2021, education must be at the core of pandemic response and recovery efforts. Without resolute political commitment by global leaders, as well as additional resources for Education Cannot Wait, and its UN and civil society partners, millions of girls and boys may never return to school. Investing in the education of these vulnerable children and youth is an investment in peace, prosperity and resilience for generations to come – and a priority for the United Nations.[related_articles]
Looking back upon 2020, we all bear the scars of a devastating year; none so much as girls and boys around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education for over 1.6 billion children and youth globally and continues to do so. It has also deepened socio-economic inequities and heightened insecurities around the world, further impacting the lives of girls and boys everywhere. Ongoing, protracted conflicts, forced displacement and the worsening climate crisis were no less forgiving.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) - the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – was on the ground in Burkina Faso last week with its Director, Yasmine Sherif, to launch a new multi-year programme that aims to provide an education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected areas.
Thirteen-year-old Wita Kasanganjo is a pupil at Maratatu Primary School in the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement based in Uganda’s Hoima district. But last month, when Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni ordered the re-opening of schools for the first time since the mid-March nationwide closure, Kasanganjo was not part of the returning group of students. The government, in a cautious lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, has allowed only pupils who are part of the final year or candidate classes to return to their schooling.
María Victoria Angulo is Colombia’s Minister of Education. She holds a Master´s Degree in Development Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes and a Master´s Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis from Pompeau Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain). The minister has more than 20 years of experience in educational policy development.
Education and health care were high on the agenda when the United Nations vowed to work toward a better future by setting 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met by 2030.
H.E. Mr. Stanislas Ouaro became the Minister of National Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso in February 2018 after a long academic career. Between 2012 and 2018, Mr. Ouaro was the President of the Université Ouaga II. Prior to that, the eminent mathematician held several teaching and administrative posts with Ouagadougou University. Mr. Ouaro is widely published, and has also served as the President of the Réseau pour l’Excellence de l’Enseignement Supérieur en Afrique de l’Ouest
(Network for Excellence in Higher Education in West Africa). A leading advocate for education and equality, Mr. Ouaro has been awarded several academic awards in Burkina Faso and elsewhere.
Education is not a privilege. It is a fundamental human right. Yet, education is undervalued even at the best of times. We often fail to connect the dots between the right to education and the realization of all human rights. As noted by the Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen, we have failed to give ‘this massive potential in transforming human lives’ the attention it deserves.
Nyagoa Dak was born to a world in chaos. Her story is one of loss, of redemption, of struggle and of triumph.
At a very early age, Nyagoa lost her parents to the conflict in South Sudan. As the conflict escalated, she escaped with her grandmother to Ethiopia in 2014. There they settled in the Pugnido refugee camp in Ethiopia’s Gambella region.
Girls are change makers and world shapers! When girls speak up, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with.
"For 75M children & young people trapped in conflict zones, #EducationCannotWait
. A lost generation is one where hope dies in those who live. It is our responsibility to rekindle hope." ~ Gordon Brown.
“I am so happy. This is my success!” says 13-year old Cynthia
, beaming proudly as she shows her Primary School Certificate with an average mark of 120 out of 150. Thanks to the Radio Education Programme, she will now graduate on to Grade 6! Cynthia’s sense of pride, joy and achievement can only be fully understood when placed in the context of her circumstances. Cynthia is an internally displaced girl, living in Burkina Faso in Central Sahel.
Despite the various challenges they face, teachers are showing incredible dedication to their profession, writes Leandro Salazar-Lievano, our education expert deployed to UNHCR Mali
As if four decades of war were not enough, then came the pandemic.
For each of the past five years, Afghanistan has been identified by the United Nations as the world’s deadliest country for children and, despite progress made in peace talks between the government and the Taliban, child and youth casualties from the ongoing conflict continue to mount in 2020.
John Goodwin joined the LEGO Foundation
as CEO in April 2017 to pursue a career where he could combine his business skills with his passion for philanthropy and driving positive social impact.
"We missed our teachers, they were very friendly and helped us solve the complex exercises, but with the coronavirus, we need to adapt and learn to solve our exercises alone at home," says Alzira Ngomane, 17 years old, and her brother Amilcar Ngomane, 14, from the Albazine district, in the city of Maputo, Mozambique.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170
declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
Out of global crises spring opportunities for change. In crisis, change is not an option. It is a necessity. And, as Plato famously noted: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Education Cannot Wait (ECW
) is an invention that sprang out of crisis and was borne of necessity.
This World Teachers’ Day, celebrated under the theme, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”, the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, UNESCO and UNICEF are calling for the resumption of salary payments for around half of the Yemeni teachers and school-based staff (estimated 160,000) who have not received regular salary payments since 2016. With suspended salary payments and schools regularly coming under attack, many teachers have been forced to find alternative sources of income to provide for their families.
Teachers are at the heart of children and young peoples’ educational experiences. Teachers play multiple roles in their students’ lives by supporting their learning, providing them with inclusive and safe environments to grow and develop, and helping them become more confident as they make their way in the world. As we commemorate World Teachers’ Day
on Monday, 5 October and its theme--Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future
--we must recognize the inspiring and transformative role that teachers working in armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change induced disasters and protracted crises play in their students’ lives.