According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the world is facing an education crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept nearly 77 million children out of the classroom for the past 18 months (thecarbbeeannewsnow.com). For UNICEF, the right to attend school is central to every child's development, safety, and well-being (thecaribbeannewsnow.com). The agency believes "this generation of children and youth cannot afford any more disruptions to their education" (thecaribbeannewsnow.com).
Schools are now fully open in 117 countries, with 539 million students back in class, ranging from pre-primary to secondary levels (thecaribbeannewsnow.com). This represents 35 percent of the total student population worldwide, compared to 16 percent who returned to school in September 2020, when schools were only open, or partially open, in 94 countries (thecaribbeannewsnow.com). However, around 117 million students, representing 7.5 percent of the total, are still affected by complete school closures in 18 countries (thecaribbeannewsnow.com). The number of countries with partly open schools has decreased from 52 to 41 over the same period (thecaribbeannewsnow.com).
While the number of schools that have returned to in-person learning has increased, it is not enough to focus on reopening the doors to the schools. Getting kids caught up on the learning lost during school closures and readjusted to being back in school needs to be a primary objective. In May 2021, UNICEF, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Bank joined forces to launch Mission Recovery Education 2021, which targets three priorities (unicef.org):
For each goal, ambitious targets have been set and will be tracked (unicef.org). UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank are aiding countries "to help governments and school authorities achieve this critical mission and engage with governments to prioritize education financing for these three priorities" (unicef.org).