The world is in the depths of a learning crisis, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report finds that COVID-19-related school closures and other disruptions have sharply increased learning poverty, a measure of children unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10. The report, The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update, a joint publication of the World Bank, UNICEF, FCDO, USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and in partnership with UNESCO, stresses that even before the pandemic, there was already a learning crisis. Since then, COVID-19 has sharply increased learning poverty, with COVID-driven school disruptions exacerbating the severe pre-pandemic learning crisis.
The report reiterates the call for governments to take RAPID action to:
- Reach every child and keep them in school
- Assess learning levels regularly
- Prioritize teaching the fundamentals, as the building blocks of lifelong learning
- Increase the efficiency of instruction including through catch-up learning
- Develop psychosocial health and wellbeing so every child is ready to learn