Global Education Coalition

A new Coalition to protect the right to education during unprecedented disruption and beyond. #LearningNeverStops
Support the equitable continuation of learning
During the COVID-19 pandemic
Ensure a full and fair return to education
Following the pandemic
Strengthen learning systems
For the future

Coalition Members

Connectivity, gender and teachers
Global Education Coalition support to COVID-19 learning recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the education sector with full force, disrupting schools globally and threatening to strip off decades of progress made towards learning. A year into the crisis, the situation remains bleak: Half of the world’s student population is still affected by full or partial school closures; nearly one-third cannot access remote learning; more than 11 million girls may never return to the classroom, and over 100 million children will fall below the minimum proficiency level in reading due to the impact of school closures. Unless urgent action is taken today, over 24 million children and youth are at risk of dropping out of school.

As the pandemic revealed and amplified inequalities in education, UNESCO quickly mobilized support to ensure the continuity of learning around the world by establishing the Global Education Coalition in March 2020. This multi-sector Coalition brings together 175 institutional partners from the UN family, civil society, academia, and the private sector currently working in 112 countries around three central themes: Connectivitygender, and teachersA new report published ahead of a high-level ministerial meeting is showcasing the innovative responses that have been achieved through this unique partnership in the past year.

How is the Global Education Coalition operating and what are its achievements?

The Global Education Coalition has become an essential platform to support Member States to respond to the unprecedented challenges facing the education sector. Coalition contributions do not replace national responses, but rather engage new actors that would not have been obvious partners, such as technology and media organizations, to complement and support national efforts to ensure the continuity of learning.

 Coalition members are currently engaged in 233 projects across 112 countries. At least 400 million learners and 12 million teachers are benefitting directly or indirectly from the actions of the Coalition. Here are a few global, regional, and country-specific examples of actions that have been achieved so far.

  • In West Africa, the Francophone African regional online learning platform Imaginecolewas launched as a key component of a Global Partnership for Education project to improve the quality of distance education in 10 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo. The platform offers a large-scale experience in distance education for 6.6 million students and 200,000 teachers with over 600 educational resources.
  • More than 5 million girls in the 20 countries with the greatest gender disparities in education will be supported to fulfill their right to education, with a focus on bringing back to school the most marginalized girls through wide range of actions. This includes information and awareness-raising, skills acquisition, and providing evidence-based recommendations to decision-makers.
  • The Global Skills Academy, established to help equip 1 million youth with digital skills to adapt to changes in the workplace, reaching to date 142,000 beneficiaries. Since its launch, the Academy has mobilized more than 150 TVET institutions across 56 countries and is actively working with 15 partners to enroll 75,000 additional students and teachers in the coming days.
  • In response to the explosion that rocked Beirut, Lebanon in August 2020, Coalition members mobilized financial commitments, technical assistance, and capacity-building support to rehabilitate damaged schools, provide technical assistance to teachers, ensure access to distance learning with content, and support higher education. UNESCO and partners are supporting the rehabilitation of 55 public schools, 20 public Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions, and 3 universities.
  • In South Africa, a phone app-based support service for teachers developed with a partner was launched to provide a real-time chat-based learning and mentorship platform, along with a wellness and safety feature. It currently has over 67,200 users and plans to reach 400,000 more teachers in the upcoming months.
  • UNESCO is supporting an open-source platform for home-based distance learning and a regional repository of curriculum-aligned resources for learners and teachers in Kiribati, Marshall Islands (Republic of), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu.  
  • With GIZ’s support, UNESCO is launching a teachers’ training programme for 20 Caribbean countries and a digital and social-emotional skills training for migrants and refugees in Peru.

Read and explore the Global Education Coalition’s latest progress report here.

Access the first progress report from September 2020 here.

UNESCO is convening a high-level ministerial event on 29 March 2021 to take stock of lessons learned, the greatest risks facing education today, and strategies to leave no learner behind. It will show how the Global Education Coalition has mobilized partners to support learners, teachers, and policy-makers with new tools and knowledge.

#Learningneverstops

Our time
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.
Our mission
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.
Our coalition
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.
Our commitments
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

step 1
Understand
needs on the ground
step 2
Cooperate
with Ministries of Education and local communities
step 3
Leverage
the commitments and strengths of Coalition members
step 4
Implement
impactful solutions

Flagships

Working to make universal connectivity a reality
Working to empower teachers and protect their status
Working to close gender inequalities in education

Explore how the

Coalition is supporting learning recovery one year into COVID-19

Global Education Coalition in action to ensure #learningneverstops

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

Access the 

COVID-19 Response Toolkit 

and learn how to address 9 key topics of educational country response