Civic Society Organisations from across the globe have called on governments and the international community to ensure that the right to education is upheld during the Covid-19 crisis.
In a statement, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) reiterated the need for interventions and policies that respond to the crisis.
“The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) reaffirms that short, medium and long-term interventions and policies responding to the crisis should be equitable, gender-sensitive, transformative and protective of human rights. Interventions and policies should be inclusive of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, including those with disabilities, and be responsive to the different needs, contextual realities and risks faced by individuals”
Refat Sabbah, GCE President, emphasised the need for suitable processes that ensure continuity of education.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 compounded the plight of those who were already vulnerable. Appropriate measures should be put in place to guarantee access to free quality public education for all and ensuring continuance of education during emergencies should form part of response strategies for the COVID-19 crisis.”
GCE said education should facilitate the construction of knowledge and relationships that allow fundamental human rights to be enjoyed individually and collectively in contexts of emergency and non-emergencies alike.
Through raising the transformative capacity of education in times of crisis GCE says better conditions are achieved to build equality, inclusion, justice and prosperity.
“In the short term, the delivery of education should be accelerated through creative and innovative strategies tailor made to reach out to ALL learners regardless of their circumstances, implemented in a manner that does not deepen inequalities or advance trends of commercialisation and instrumentalist approaches to education.
“In the medium term, governments should develop in partnership with civil society curriculum recovery strategies and delivery thereof at all levels including providing necessary support to educators to facilitate catch up for all learners.
“In the longer term, preparation for future crises will be key, through establishing crisis and post-crisis response mechanisms and evaluation framework that guide new forms of learning emphasising on the role that education plays during and after emergencies. An international SDG 4 post crisis evaluation conference could feed into this process,” GCE said