March 3, 2021 | Washington, DC: The Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US) commends Congress for reintroducing the bipartisan Global Learning Loss Assessment Act in both chambers. If passed, the bill would help identify the scope of global education loss, one of the most significant and long-lasting consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures have disrupted the lives and education of more than 91% of the world’s student population, and past experience has demonstrated that the longer at-risk children are away from school, the less likely they are to return.
The Global Learning Loss Assessment Act emphasizes the need for USAID and its partners to promote inclusive education and to support education systems and safe re-opening efforts for children and youth worldwide. If passed, the bill would require more and better reporting on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global education. Specifically, it would require USAID to submit a report to Congress outlining: the magnitude of global learning loss, the impact of school closures on marginalized and vulnerable children, descriptions of forms of distance learning in low resource contexts, data on USAID programs being carried out to continue learning during the pandemic, as well as USAID’s plan to support education programs during and after the pandemic and the resources needed to do so.
GCE-US has endorsed the bill and, in partnership with our Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Community of Practice, worked with congressional offices to strengthen the bill’s language in respect to children with disabilities and inclusive education. We are grateful to global education champions Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and John Boozman (R-AR) and Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D, PA-06), Mike Quigley (D, IL-05), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-01) for their leadership on this important legislation.
Roziya Boboeva, a teacher in Tajikistan, visits the homes of four of her students who have low vision during the COVID-19 pandemic — including Manija Sharipova — with USAID-donated Braille books and books with large print. / Photograph by Rustam Mailov for USAID