Right now students are out of school in 185 countries. According to UNESCO, that’s roughly 9 out of 10 schoolchildren worldwide.
The world has never seen a school shutdown on this scale. And not since Great Britain during World War II has such a long-term, widespread emptying of classrooms come to a rich country.
To get a little perspective on what this all might mean, I spoke with several experts in the field known as “education in emergencies.” Some have been part of the response to national, longterm school interruptions caused by war, refugee crises, natural disasters and epidemics like Ebola. Others have studied the breakdown and recovery process. Again, there is no situation that is precisely similar to what schools around the world are going through now, but here are some lessons these experts have learned from other education emergencies.
From New Orleans and Rwanda: It can take years for students to recover the learning they’ve lost. MORE