When the pandemic hit, it profoundly disrupted education systems across the world and threatened to amplify education inequalities and an existing learning crisis. The most vulnerable and marginalized children have been hit the hardest and are at a higher risk of not returning to school.
To help prevent a deepening loss of learning and potential, GPE mobilized its most rapid and largest-ever emergency response to help governments sustain learning for up to 355 million children in the poorest countries. As of last May, US$399 million of the $500 million COVID funding allocated was disbursed.
GPE funding has been supporting partner countries’ efforts to quickly adjust to the new reality and adapt their education systems to create innovative forms of schooling. Partner countries have proven resilient and firmly committed to ensure teaching and learning continues.
Ensuring children continue learning remotely
As schools closed, the first step was to ensure children could continue learning.
To reach this goal, the GPE-supported programs focus on building the capacity of ministries of education to design and implement distance or home-based learning programs at scale. They include a combination of no-tech, low-tech and high tech learning methods to match the countries’ contexts: printed materials distributed to students, dropboxes for student to get homework reviewed, radio lessons, WhatsApp groups for Q&A with teachers, TV programs and online platforms. These multi-faceted methods were key to ensure the most vulnerable children could also be reached.