Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. Being able to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030 was going to require a global concerted push. And then, with the global COVID pandemic, came the school closures and the economic aftershocks that have effectively ended the educational prospects of millions of children around the world. That is, unless we can do something about it.

The world could limit its educational recovery response to just returning enrollment and learning to pre-pandemic levels. But many experts see the pandemic as an “opportunity to reset education.” The world was not on track to achieve SDG4 by 2030 because of glaring inequalities in the global education system. COVID-19 highlighted and exacerbated those challenges. The question is, since we have to rebuild education anyway, shouldn’t we do it in a way that’s more inclusive, more equitable and of better quality? Experts say that if we don’t, not only will we still fail to achieve SDG4, but we will be setting ourselves up for another crisis down the road when another major disruption strikes. In a world with increasing climate disasters, it seems all but inevitable.

Most wealthy countries adapted to the COVID shutdowns by moving their classrooms online. While not an ideal learning environment for many students and their families, it at least allowed most students to continue learning. But this shift also highlighted the massive digital divide between wealthy and under-resourced contexts.

Read the full article about rethinking education strategies and tactics by Joanne Lu at Global Washington.