At the start of 2021, UNESCO’s main focus in education was urging governments to safely reopen schools for millions of learners who were still affected by COVID-19 closures. Through the Global Education Coalition, learners and teachers around the world have been supported through this unprecedented crisis that is still sweeping across continents.
The long-awaited Futures of Education report, the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development and the Paris Declaration on increased funding in education are just a few examples of many major milestones and events that have taken place throughout the year.
Here are some of the main actions and stories from 2021.
UNESCO Member States unite to increase investment in education
Heads of State and Government and Ministers of Education from more than 40 countries adopted the Paris Declaration during the Global Education Meeting held during the General Conference of UNESCO. The Declaration is a global appeal initiated by UNESCO and France to increase investment in education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. At the height of the pandemic, 1.6 billion children and adolescents were deprived of tuition in the classroom. Among them, 500 million students, mainly in the South, had no access to distance learning. UNESCO quickly rallied by bringing together States, international organizations and businesses within a Global Coalition for Education, which made it possible to ensure educational continuity in 112 countries.