The Future of Education is Here for Those Left Furthest Behind


Thurs, 17 Sept 2020, 9:00-10:30am (EST) 

The Event

A virtual side event to the United Nations General Assembly  

Thursday17 September 2020, 09:0010:30am (EST) 
Co-hosted by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ministry of Development Cooperation of Norway, the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the governments of Canada, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Format: Zoom virtual event

Agenda: Click here

Register now

Education Cannot Wait, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ministry of Development Cooperation of Norway, the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the governments of Canada, United Kingdom and United States of America., will convene a virtual meeting of global leaders, education experts and young people to take place during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

75 million children and youth living in countries affected by war and climate disasters face a pandemic upon a crisis. The number of out-of-school children in conflicts and forced displacement is now rapidly escalating. The future of an entire generation is at risk. Never has the need for action been more urgent.

Yet, we have a generational opportunity to seize on recent innovations and prioritize those at greatest risk of being left behind – children and 

youth in emergencies and protracted crises, forcibly displaced young people, adolescent girls and those with disabilities. We have an opportunity to think creatively about teaching and learning, whatever crisis or disruption we may face. It is not a choice – it is a necessity that we build back better.  

This event will challenge participants to reimagine education for those left furthest behind, shifting the narrative from one of crisis to one of opportunity. It will provide a platform for leaders to bring forward commitments that bring this shared ambition to life. It will amplify the voices of young people to guide us on a path to deliver a better future for conflict and crisis-affected children and youth. 

We warmly invite you to register below and be part of this timely conversation on 17 September.

The event will start in..









Event themes

Learning to learn

The impact of COVID-19 on education has compelled policy makers, teachers and other key education stakeholders to think and act differently in record speed. The roll out of distance learning tools, new forms of assessment, targeted support for teachers, and efforts to promote inclusive learning have all been features of success in some places. Yet this has been far from universal. The digital divide holds back learners, particularly in crisis-affected countries. Many teachers are unequipped to support the continuity of learning and adapt to new teaching methodologies. Refugee teachers are especially vulnerable to the disruption of salaries.  The event invites participants to reimagine education and accelerate positive changes in teaching and learning for crisis-affected populations.  

Resilient and responsive systems

Governments and their development partners need to ensure that systems address the vulnerabilities and needs specific to boys and girls, and to gender dynamics in times of crisis. Learners in emergencies and protracted crises should be prioritized so that their education is not further jeopardized. To keep children affected by crises in school and learning, a holistic approach and comprehensive package of interventions are needed: teacher training, nutritious feeding programmes, psychosocial support, protection and access to water, sanitation and hygiene and cash-assistance. National leadership is critical to ensure that humanitarian and development initiatives are sustainable, aligned with national priorities, and able to mitigate the impact of crises on learners and communities. The event calls on participants to share examples of best practice, including ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Programmes, and to raise the bar of ambition through new financial commitments.  

Coordinated investment

Significant strides have been made in advancing funding for education in emergencies and protracted crises. ECW’s latest Results Report 2019 shows that humanitarian funding for education grew five-fold from 2015 to 2019, with more than US$700 million committed in 2019. Coordinated joint programming has contributed to this progress. Investments are paying off. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world into the deepest global recession in living memory, placing unprecedented pressure on public finances. There is an urgent need to protect education spending, both domestically and through official development assistance (ODA). The event will invite participants to announce new funding commitments for education in emergencies and protracted crises.  

Creative partnerships

Solutions require creativity, diversity of thought and partnership. The event invites speakers to highlight the impact of partnerships in the field of education in emergencies and protracted crises. Stronger together means joint programming, complementarity and inclusion of all actors with an added value. In taking a whole-of-child approach, it takes collective outcomes to produce learning outcomes. The event encourages participants to share innovative forms of partnership and new ways of utilising skills, technologies and resources to advance learning for crisis-affected children and young people.   


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