COVID-19 has wreaked havoc worldwide on children’s learning and well-being. Before the pandemic, progress in education was already too slow to achieve Goal 4 by 2030. One year into the crisis, two in three students were still affected by full or partial school closures. One hundred million more children than before fail to demonstrate basic reading skills. The poorest and most vulnerable children are bearing the brunt of the crisis, exacerbating longstanding inequalities. Many risk never returning to school; some are forced into child marriage or child labour. Special efforts are required to recover learning losses caused by COVID-19. However, an estimated 65 per cent of Governments in low- and lower-middle-income countries, and 35 per cent in upper-middle- and high-income countries have reduced funding for education since the onset of the pandemic.

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