An Entire Generation Left Behind: How COVID-19 Created an Education Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis for education and learning around the world. School closures and other disruptions over the past two years have exacerbated what was already a severe learning crisis, especially for children in low- and middle-income countries. This has significantly set back progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education.

A new report titled “The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update” form The World Bank stresses that learning poverty – defined as the percentage of 10-year-olds unable to read and understand a simple text – was already at crisis levels before the pandemic hit. The latest data shows that even then, over 50% of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries were unable to achieve these basic reading proficiency levels.


The Coverage Myth: Mobile Broadband Reaches 95% but the Digital Divide Remains

The latest data from the GSMA’s annual State of Mobile Internet Connectivity report reveals that while mobile broadband networks now cover 95% of the global population, less than half are actually connected and using mobile internet. This gap between network coverage and adoption underscores a persistent digital divide even as mobile technology continues its rapid spread.


Literacy is a Fundamental Human Right, Yet Out of Reach for 1 billion people

Literacy unlocks opportunities for people to reach their full potential. However, despite major progress in recent decades, literacy remains out of reach for hundreds of millions globally. The statistics paint a sobering picture:
  • 750 million adults—two-thirds of whom are women—still lack basic reading and writing skills. This impacts access to information, employment, healthcare, and more.
  • About 258 million children and adolescents remain out of school around the world, missing out on education from an early age.
  • 6 out of 10 kids worldwide don’t meet minimum reading and math proficiency global benchmarks, failing to obtain core academic skills.


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