GWI calls for the increase in domestic funding for education as a means to confront the seismic results of the COVID 19 pandemic on education.

Graduate Women International calls for the increase in domestic funding for education as a means to confront the seismic results of the COVID 19 pandemic on education.


The  COVID-19   pandemic   has   led   to   a   global   learning   disruption  of unprecedented scale and severity and has caused the most significant threat in history to education. A staggering 300 million students are out of school (1).   The  closure  of  schools,  universities,  and  other  knowledge  institutions and  the  interruption  of  literacy  and  lifelong  learning  programmes  have disrupted  the  lives  of  an  estimated  1.6  billion  students  globally  (2).    The pandemic threatens a seismic reversal of the hard-earned gains of 180 million more  girls  enrolling  in  primary  and  secondary  school,  and  a  three-fold increase in third-level education since adopting the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 25 years ago (3).  The pandemic is the largest shock to education in history, and the magnitude of the impact may defy measurement.  The World Bank report estimates a loss of $10 trillion dollars in earnings over time for the current generation of students.


Alarming is the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report that estimates that  11  million  girls  and  young  women  may  never  return  to  education.  The extraordinary and unprecedented education crisis caused by COVID 19 has led to the aforementioned 1.6 billion students learning being thwarted due to school  closures.  While  Graduate  Women  International  (GWI)  hails  the vitality  of  innovative  and  promising  learning  methods  stemming  from  the COVID-19  pandemic,  the  global  education  culture  shift  to  digital  and distance learning compounds the accessibility of education for those who are already marginalized.  The digital divide prevents those farthest behind from accessing  online  resources  to  continue  education.  As  example,  in  Western Europe and North America, at least one in seven students do not have access to the Internet at home. This figure rises  to 80% in sub-Saharan Africa and 88% in Least Developed Countries. Unless we take urgent action, more than 24 million children are at risk of dropping out of school.


Given these astounding facts, GWI is duty-bound to submit this statement to the 46th session of the Human Rights Council. The statement aims to heighten awareness  about  the critical  digital  learning  crisis  continuing  as  pandemic fallout and to motivate Member State’s commitment to domestic funding for education,  including  resources  to  support  teachers.  Youth  advocates  and women in educational sector leadership roles, like the women in the Forum for African Women Educationalists are critical to reimagining education and learning. Post COVID education systems must be more flexible, inclusive and equitable.  Access the full statement HERE.

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