With over one billion children out of school or gradually returning to learning, education leaders today are experiencing the challenge of a generation. How can historically slow-moving education systems turn on a dime? What can leaders across the public and private sector do to help children recover from COVID-19 learning loss—and lift children out of learning poverty?

The coronavirus pandemic is not the first calamity to put learning at risk. Powerful lessons can be drawn from recent history—such as in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or Liberia after Ebola—to inform today’s pathways to relief, recovery, reform, and resilience in education delivery.

The Luminos Fund is presenting a video series of diverse education leaders as they share personal lessons learned on navigating crises: “Education Leadership through Crisis.” Every Monday and Wednesday, Luminos features new interviews with leaders such as:

You can view the series launch video below and explore all the interviews on the “Education Leadership through Crisis” webpage.

In this COVID-19 moment, these dialogues shed light on the world’s opportunity to get education delivery right. In the words of Mubuso Zamchiya, Managing Director of the Luminos Fund and video series host:

“As the COVID-19 crisis is testing the next generation of leaders across education and beyond, I am honored to amplify the voices of those who have triumphed in the face of past crises. Indeed, it is clear at this dark moment that we need to lean on each other’s wisdom if we are to have a fighting chance of providing quality education for all.”

Mubuso Zamchiya, Managing Director of the Luminos Fund


“Education Leadership through Crisis” kicked off with a webinar during the United Nations General Assembly week featuring Neerav Kingsland, Managing Director, the City Fund and former CEO of New Schools for New Orleans; George Werner, former Minister of Education, Liberia; and Dr. Rebecca Winthrop, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution. Each panelist brought their unique experiences of responding to crises to the table and explored what new opportunities they see for education systems in light of the pandemic. You can view a recording of the webinar here.


About the Luminos Fund:

The Luminos Fund is a global organization working to ensure no child is ever denied an education, whether by poverty, crisis, or discrimination. The Luminos Second Chance program (also known as Speed School in Ethiopia) is a holistic 10-month accelerated learning program that supports out-of-school children to develop foundational literacy, numeracy, and broader skills, eventually transitioning back into the mainstream school system to continue their education. According to a six-year longitudinal study conducted by the University of Sussex, six years after completing the program, Luminos students have stronger academic outcomes, higher aspirations for their futures, and go on to complete primary school at nearly twice the rate as their peers in government schools (Akyeampong et al., 2018). Since inception, Luminos has supported over 136,000 marginalized learners across Ethiopia, Liberia, and Lebanon to develop the skills needed to support a lifetime of learning. For more information about Luminos, please see: www.luminosfund.org.