Global Education Coalition
A new Coalition to protect the right to education during unprecedented disruption and beyond. #LearningNeverStops
Support the equitable continuation of learning
Ensure a full and fair return to education
Strengthen learning systems
Call to support COVID-19 and emergency response in Beirut
UNESCO is calling on Global Education Coalition members to synergize
actions, pool resources and support the emergency response
Coronavirus cases in Lebanon have soared since the explosion in the Port of Beirut. It placed new strains on a society and education system already coping with overlapping financial, health and infrastructural crises. In addition to killing hundreds and injuring thousands, the explosion ripped away social distancing precautions when people rushed to provide assistance to traumatized citizens. The blast and its aftermath forced more than 300,000 people to flee unsafe homes and shelter in crowded camps or with friends or relatives. This sudden movement and suspension of health safeguards doubled coronavirus infections in only two weeks, prompting new lockdown restrictions, slowing the restarting of a struggling economy.
Critical infrastructure including three hospitals and numerous schools were destroyed. In total 159 schools were damaged, adding even greater urgency to efforts to support students remotely with distant learning solutions. The government plans to reopen schools on 29 September using distance education modalities. UNESCO is working to help assure all learners can access education and learning, particularly those most adversely impacted by the recent crises.
On Tuesday, 1 September, UNESCO held an exceptional meeting of Coalition members to discuss cooperation and commitments for Lebanon to ensure that #LearningNeverStops.
We are at a critical point in the global response to COVID-19 – we need everyone to get involved in this massive effort to keep the world safe and to enhance resilience of every society and every family. School closures are part and parcel of the increasingly stringent measures taken by governments to contain the spread of the virus. Today, 1.2 billion students and youth in 124 countries are affected by school and university closures. The responsibility of education is to keep learning processes for all learners and leave no one behind.
We are committed to maintaining educational equity and inclusion as governments seek to provision teaching and learning opportunities to students through alternative means during periods of school closures. School closures have a long history of exacerbating learning inequities and hurting the most vulnerable children and youth disproportionately. This coalition is dedicated to working with governments to find solutions to leave no one behind and elevate the importance of equity and gender equality in educational responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
We are United Nations agencies, international organizations, private sector, civil society representatives actively engaged in advancing COVID-19 Education Response from around the world are joining forces to provide expertise, strategic direction, resources and leadership, and engage at global, regional and countries levels.
We commit collectively to:
- Advocate and mobilize to bring actors and resources on board for an effective and unified response;
- Coordinate among ourselves to maximize impact of interventions and avoid overlap with a view to reaching the most disadvantaged and those at risk of being excluded during this crisis;
- Match national needs and global solutions by brining global and local (national) partners together for effective and immediate solutions addressing connectivity and content challenges;
- Offer free and secure technological solutions to countries by providing radio, television and online digital tools and learning management solutions where national digitalized education
resources can be uploaded and learning processes organized for use by schools, learners, teachers and parents. Such facilities ensure that countries have control over the development of courses, recommended resources, platforms aligned to national curricula and security and privacy of learners and teachers.
How the Coalition Works
needs on the ground
with Ministries of Education and local communities
the commitments and strengths of Coalition members
Working to make universal connectivity a reality
Working to empower teachers and protect their status
Working to close gender inequalities in education
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the obligations of Coalition members?
Members commit to: (a) supporting one or more of the Coalition’s three objectives, (b) responding to UNESCO requests, and (c) working cooperatively with other Coalition members to ensure impactful and coordinated responses at the global, regional, and country levels.
How does my organization join the Coalition?
If your organization would like to join the Coalition and can make commitments to advance progress toward one or more of the Coalition’s objectives, please send an email to globalEDcoalition@unesco.org. In your message, please explain, in detail, what strengths your organization would bring to the Coalition and what it can do to support the education response to COVID-19, taking account of Coalition priorities.
Can education stakeholders make direct requests to Coalition members?
No, requests should be directed through national authorities to UNESCO. This will help ensure a coordinated response and active engagement of countries and ministries of education.
How does the Coalition decide where to deploy assistance and resources?
Decisions about how and where to deploy assistance are based on three factors: (a) country needs on the ground, (b) the resources of Coalition members, and (c) the potential for impact with a particular focus on disadvantaged groups. UNESCO assesses all requests received from countries and works to match them with commitments and offers of assistance from Coalition members. All deployments are demand-driven.
What is the role of governments in the Coalition?
Governments can request assistance from the Global Coalition via formal correspondence to UNESCO. Governments wishing to support Coalition objectives or flagships should contact the UNESCO Secretariat.
What happens to the Coalition when schools reopen?
The Coalition will remain vibrant and active. Two of the three Coalition objectives are relevant when schools reopen. Coalition members will help ensure a full and equitable return to school and, beyond this, build the resilience of education and training systems for the future. Coalition members, depending on their commitments, will continue helping countries and other stakeholders apply lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as carry forward investments made during the crisis in line with Sustainable Development Goal #4.
What is UNESCO’s relationship to the Global Education Coalition?
UNESCO founded the Coalition and set its objectives and priorities. The Coalition is an agile platform with open coordination methods. UNESCO’s role is to broker and facilitate cooperation, build synergies and match country needs with the contributions and services of Coalition members.
How is the Coalition assuring the security and privacy of student data when shifts to distance learning are required?
All members of the Global Coalition for Education Response to COVID-19 have also committed to an ethic of do no harm in their treatment of data related to learning. UNESCO has also encouraged them to adhere to four principals protect learner information, privacy and security