In a rapidly changing world, education systems must adapt and transform to ensure they are fit for purpose.
The impact of school closures due to COVID-19 worsened the existing global learning crisis, creating a huge learning gap and causing many children to drop out of school. Furthermore, it is estimated that climate change is altering the education of almost 40 million students every year.
The impacts of these crises are not felt equally. Inequalities and discrimination mean that students with disabilities, particularly girls with disabilities, are disproportionately affected and often have the least resources to cope.
The climate crisis and education
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognizes that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, which disrupt education in many ways. These events can have an immediate impact and lead to school closures (as in Bangladesh, where Cyclone Amphan damaged more than 1,200 schools). They also have indirect impacts, including droughts that disrupt livelihoods and cause malnutrition in families. take the children out of school because they can no longer pay school fees.
The impact of climate change is forcing educational actors to adapt and build links between the climate and educational sectors. He Global Alliance for Education (AME), the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and YOU SAID have recently published guidance on climate change and education, recognizing that the impact of climate change threatens the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on universal quality education. But there is also optimism in the potential of education to change attitudes, develop resilience and equip learners with knowledge and skills to mitigate and adapt to changes in the environment.