Impacts of education
Impacts of education: Education is a vital aspect of human development and well-being. But it has also been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the latest impacts of education on various domains:
- Health: Education can improve health outcomes by increasing awareness, knowledge, and skills related to disease prevention and treatment. However, the pandemic has disrupted access to essential health services and nutrition for millions of children and adolescents. Especially those who rely on school-based interventions. For example, in 2020, an estimated 370 million children missed out on school meals. Which are often their main source of nourishment. Moreover, prolonged school closures have increased the risk of mental health problems, violence, abuse, and neglect for many learners.
- Economy: Education can boost economic growth by enhancing labor productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. However, the pandemic has caused massive losses in learning. Which will have long-term consequences for human capital formation and economic potential. According to a World Bank report, the learning loss due to the pandemic could amount to $10 trillion in lost earnings over time for the current generation of students. Furthermore, the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in education. The most disadvantaged and marginalized groups have faced the greatest barriers to access and quality of remote learning.
- Society: Education can foster social cohesion, tolerance, and peace by promoting civic engagement, democratic values, and intercultural dialogue. However, the pandemic has disrupted the social and emotional development of many children and youth. Who has been isolated from their peers, teachers, and communities? Additionally, the pandemic has increased the vulnerability of many learners to discrimination. Exclusion, and radicalization, especially in contexts of conflict, fragility, and violence.
To address these impacts, the global community needs to act urgently and decisively to ensure the continuity, recovery, and transformation of education systems.
Some of the key actions include
- Reopening schools safely and inclusively: Schools should be reopened as soon as possible. With adequate health and safety measures, to minimize the negative effects of prolonged closures on learning and well-being. Schools should also ensure that all learners, especially the most marginalized. Are welcomed back and supported to catch up and continue their education.
- Investing more and better in education: Education should be prioritized in national and international budgets, policies, and plans. To protect and increase the financing and quality of education. Education should also be integrated with other sectors, such as health, nutrition, social protection, and digital infrastructure, to address the multiple and interrelated challenges facing learners and educators.
- Innovating and adapting to the new reality: Education systems should leverage the opportunities and lessons learned from the pandemic to transform and improve the delivery and outcomes of education. Education systems should embrace new pedagogies, technologies, and partnerships, to enhance the relevance, equity, and effectiveness of learning for all.