students trying out the app

In Cambodia, an interactive smartphone app is helping educate students about the country’s devastating history under the Khmer Rouge. It is a period that will forever echo in Cambodia’s history, but one that society struggles to deal with to this day. In recent years, international, governmental, and non-governmental institutions have been working to help address this. However, reaching young Cambodians has proven to be a significant challenge. The app called ‘Khmer Rouge History,’ was developed under a programme implemented by UNOPS.


colored pencils, one of them with a worried face

School violence and bullying including cyberbullying is widespread and affects a significant number of children and adolescents. Almost one in three students has been bullied by their peers at school at least once in the last month and a similar proportion were affected by physical violence. UNESCO has declared 5 November the first annual International day against violence and bullying at school including cyberbullying, recognizing that school-related violence in all its forms is an infringement of children and adolescents’ rights to education and to health and well-being.

The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education honours outstanding and innovative contributions made by individuals, institutions and organizations to advance girls’ and women’s education.

A woman stands outdoors next to a blackboard with girls sitting on the floor facing her.

A UNESCO report released on the International Day of the Girl Child shows that 180 million more girls have enrolled in primary and secondary education since 1995. However, despite an increase across all levels of education, girls are still more likely to suffer exclusion than boys, and this is further exacerbated by the current pandemic. It therefore remains vital for governments to tackle persisting discrimination to achieve equality for the next generation of girls, argues the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.

A boy wearing a facemask raises his hand with his index finger up.

An entire generation has seen its education interrupted. UNICEF works to keep children, particularly the most marginalized, learning and to not just reopen schools, but better schools. 

children getting their hands disinfected

The guidance by UNESCO, WHO and UNICEF, reaffirms the importance of schools for the social and intellectual development of children, for their physical and mental health and for the wellbeing of communities. 

A teacher points down at a student’s book.

In 2020, World Teachers’ Day (WTD) celebrates “Teachers: leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. The day applauds the teaching profession worldwide, takes stock of achievements, and draws attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of attaining the global education target to leave no one behind. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly adds to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world. The discussions surrounding WTD will address the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education and the teaching profession.

Footballer Mohamed Salah

Egyptian football star Mo Salah and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi urged the world to ensure that COVID-19 does not block access to education for millions of young refugees. “We must make sure that all young people – including refugees – get an education,” said Salah, Ambassador for the Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR Instant Network Schools (INS) programme, which provides online tools and services in refugee camps.

“Debating the Futures of Education” is a video series produced by UNESCO, within the framework of an initiative that seeks to reimagine the futures of education.

Close-up of a man.

There is only one word to describe Mohtas Anwar Modier’s current mood – overjoyed. The 28-year-old Sudanese refugee arrived in Italy to advance his education. In June, he learned he received a scholarship to study at the prestigious Luiss University in Rome. The initiative, with support from UNHCR and partners, offers refugee students the opportunity to pursue their academic goals. For refugees like Mohtas, graduating from university is a triumph over the odds and an inspiration to others.

Three older adults sit in front of a notebook.

UNESCO recalls COVID-19 has disrupted education, affecting more than 91% of students, among them are 773 million adults and young people who still lack basic literacy skills.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put over 11 million girls at risk of not returning to school, threatening decades of progress toward girls’ education and gender equality.

Afghan family in Iran

She was 11 before she saw the inside of a classroom, so Parisa was not about to stop learning even under lockdown. “My sister and I followed our lessons on the television, but we had to borrow my older sister’s smartphone to do our exams,” she said. A decade ago, her family fled Afghanistan after the Taliban terrorized their neighbourhood in Herat. The extremists also threatened to kidnap any girls who dared to go to school. In Iran, where her family fled to, Parisa and her six siblings found safety, but during her first years in exile she couldn’t go to school. Based on UNHCR data, the Malala Fund has estimated that as a result of the coronavirus half of all refugee girls in secondary school will not return when classrooms reopen this month.

student at school

Here are tips to help your children navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school.

children at school

This year, 900 million (of the world’s 1.5 billion) pre-primary to secondary students were set to return to school between August and October. According to UNESCO figures, however, only half of them will return to classrooms at this stage. Taking into account the 128 million students in the middle of their academic year, a total of 561 million students, one in three, will attend classes during this period. One billion students, two-thirds of the global student population, face either school closures or uncertainty.