Social challenges

Evolving distance education to ensure inclusive participation

16/04/2021 PNG

Last year, some 1.5 billion students in 188 countries were locked out of their schools due to COVID-19, and many, mostly from marginalised groups, did not have access to digital learning resources or alternative learning opportunities.

Throughout 2020, and still ongoing today as the pandemic rages on, countries made and are making different policy choices. Many are relying on a range of approaches to ensure inclusiveness in digital learning, including flexible and self-paced platforms as well as agreements with mobile communications operators and internet firms to enhance access. Measures to subsidise devices for access like PCs and tablets, or introducing flexible and self-paced platforms, are among the most common solutions provided to students in countries.

Governments must continue to assist all learners to ensure that no one is left behind. They should focus particularly on lower-income households to improve access to infrastructure and support learners with disabilities as well as migrants and displaced children.

Read more: The State of School Education: One Year into the COVID Pandemic.