Boy sits with a radio and a notebook.

While schools are reopening in some corners of the world after pandemic-induced closures, the United Nations and its partners are helping children continue their learning through all possible means, including the Internet, radio and television. Among those efforts, UNESCO has issued a call to support learning and knowledge-sharing through open educational resources – materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or under an open license that permits no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others.

Boy sits in front of a computer.

UNRWA launches a rapid response distance learning plan, the “Education Cannot Wait” initiative for 118,000 Palestine refugee students in 169 schools due to COVID-19 closures.

Girl walks through an exhibit.

An unprecedented coalition launches “Earth School,” providing free, high-quality educational content to help students, parents and teachers who are currently at home.

Mother carrying baby on her back and holds son's hand as they walk away on dirt road.

Half of the total number of learners – some 826 million students – are kept out of the classroom by the COVID-19 pandemic for not having access to a household computer. Even so, digitally based distance learning is used to ensure educational continuity. The Global Education Coalition, launched by UNESCO, includes ITU, in seeking to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption.

Coral reefs

UNEP partner, Ocean Agency, invites parents and children to experience the ocean and its astounding life forms from their homes. Remote diving is the new remote working.

Girl in science class

Access to a quality education

girl learning online

As school closures impact more than 80% of the world’s student population, UNESCO convened an online meeting of education ministers, to share information on measures deployed to support teachers, parents and students in coping with home learning. They also pointed to emerging challenges that require global cooperation. UNESCO is launching a global education coalition to support countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.

Classroom scene with teacher writing on a chalk-board whilst children sit on stools and look on.

Schools Resume as Displaced Return to Gunyoro in Eastern Equatoria

Empty classroom full of desks

UNESCO launches an education coalition to help countries deploy remote learning to minimize disruptions and maintain social contact with learners. As an immediate response to massive school closures, UNESCO established a COVID-19 task force to provide advice and technical assistance to governments working to provide education to students out of school. The Organization holds regular virtual meetings with education ministers from all over the world to assess priority needs.


Girld stands in front of a mural

Meet some students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine who are currently taking part in the scholarship programme administered by UNOPS.

Palestinian girls, donning traditional garments, dance dabkeh in a school yard.

UNRWA Inaugurates New School in Dera’a Refugee Camp

Yvonne stands next to Eric, who proudly holds his newest school books wearing his school uniform.

“These are our children”

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Muzoon Almellehan speaks to a girl attending a center for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Bamako, Mali.

Muzoon Almellehan is an education activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Muzoon has been campaigning for children’s education in emergencies since she was forced to flee Syria in 2013 with her family. In this article in the UN Chronicle for the International Day of Education, she shares her personal story and her motivation for the work she does. "Education is the key to peace and prosperity, and the foundation of equality," she says.

 Students at the “25 de Junho” School, located in Beira, Mozambique.

The International Day of Education, 24 January, this year highlights the integrated nature of education, its humanistic aims, as well as its centrality to our collective development ambitions. The 2020 celebration will reaffirm the role of education as a fundamental right and a public good. It will frame ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all’ as a goal in and of itself, as well as a necessary means to accelerate progress to meet the targets of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

participants in Futurecasters Global Young Visionaries Summit

Some 700 outstanding young students from 25 countries are meeting in Geneva (8-10 January) to discuss how the power of technology can change the world. Hosted and co-organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and FerMUN, the Futurecasters Global Young Visionaries Summit focuses on how technologies can be harnessed for progress towards the SDGs. Model United Nations (MUN) simulations are a popular way to learn about the UN. More than 400,000 students worldwide participate every year in MUN at all educational levels – from primary school to university.