The third International Education Day will be marked on Monday 25th January 2021 under the dark cloud of disruption and devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to education at all levels globally over the past year. Schools, universities and other learning institutions were closed and many remain closed or have closed again. Some education has moved online but many learners struggle with no access to devices or data to access lessons remotely. The pandemic has widened many of the learning inequalities that already existed, and has set back many of the gains made in recent years.

However, at the beginning of a new year, now is the time to establish collaborative partnerships across the world to put education and learning at the centre of the international #BuildBackBetter recovery. Now is the opportunity to transform education towards a more inclusive, safe and sustainable model for all. UNESCO reminds us: Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

Over the past year, UKFIET has worked hard to share many articles from across our network. Unsurprisingly, there has been a large focus on the negative effects of COVID-19 on education across all levels. However, there have also been many positive signs of innovation and adaptation and perhaps cause for a flicker of optimism a year into the pandemic, when willingness to collaborate and focus on an inclusive recovery is at its highest. A few articles are highlighted here and you will find many more by browsing through our website.

Safeguarding girls’ education during and after COVID-19

by Khadijah Fancy, Cambridge Education

School reopening and education system recovery: insights from the latest international evidence

by Rachael Fitzpatrick, Astrid Korin and Anna Riggall, Education Development Trust

Empowering girls with disabilities through radical inclusion during and beyond COVID-19: Marie’s story

by Eric Musa, Sightsavers Sierra Leone

Tackling the COVID-19 education emergency through a progressive universalism approach to public financing

by Professor Pauline Rose, REAL Centre, University of Cambridge

Build Back Readier: Why and How the Rest of the World Can Learn from Education in Emergencies

by Kate Sims, with Kristine Gorgen and Joe Hallgarten, Education Development Trust

Emerging from COVID-19 pandemic: A social inclusion approach to educating learners with disabilities

by Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, World Bank, and Anna Cristina D’Addio, the GEM Report

COVID has cast a dark cloud on education, but there are some silver linings

by Mary Burns, Education Development Center

Making online higher education work: Opportunities, challenges and policy imperatives under COVID-19

by Yifei Yan, LSE Department of Social Policy

Charting a New Course: Education Systems After COVID-19

by Dzingai Mutumbuka, Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO, and Marla Spivack, RISE and Harvard University

Improving teaching quality in Rwanda during COVID-19: Emerging opportunities for learning and research

by Laterite and the REAL Centre at the University of Cambridge

It’s time to learn together and get education right for all children

by Pauline Rose, REAL Centre, and Sven Rooms, VVOB – education for development

How Parents are Supporting their Children’s Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria

by Oby Bridget Azubuike and Bisayo Aina, The Education Partnership Centre, Lagos