In the lead up to the Worlds Teachers’ Day 2021, we launch a 4-day conference on the crucial role of all #EducationHeroes in the recovery phase post COVID-19.

The 2021 Educaid.be digital conference aims to contribute to the understanding of what resilient education systems really stand for; what the barriers are to support, to protect and to appreciate the key role education actors play in our societies; what the perspectives, strategies and approaches are for achieving more resilient education systems;  and what good and inspirational practices are available

2020-2021 will be remembered as an exceptional period. The world was confronted with a pandemic. Countries went into lockdown; societies were completely disrupted. More than 1.6 billion learners were affected by school and university closures, and remote learning had to provide the best possible support for the students. Unfortunately, this form of education is not suitable for everyone, so many children and young people lost contact with the school during the lockdown. We know from previous crisis situations that especially girls, children and young people from vulnerable groups or with a disability belong to the highest risk groups for school dropout. If we add to this the economic impact of Covid-19 and the consequences for the funding of education and development cooperation, there is sufficient cause for concern for the coming years.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in education, and presented new challenges for better and more resilient education systems across all levels. Building on studies conducted by UNICEF, UNESCO, Plan International, Humanity and Inclusion, the World Bank, the Global Coalition for Education,… this edition of the international Educaid.be conference will shed light on the crucial role of all #EducationHeroes, in the recovery phase post Covid-19. The digital conference will stimulate discussions around the local, national and international responses that are needed to focus on the recovery of the education systems and the well-being of our learners and students.

As the African proverb says “it takes a village to raise a child”, Educaid.be wants to focus on collaboration between all actors (teachers, trainers, school and university leaders, educators, learners, parents, policy makers, unions,…) to build more resilient systems for the future. During the crisis, we have been inspired by many powerful examples to keep children learning. Around the world, many have united in a drive for change, putting education at the very top of the recovery agenda. As schools closed their doors, teachers, trainers and school leaders reinvented the way they teach and lead. When schools reopened, teachers, learners and school leaders returned courageously to their classrooms, training centres and universities and made the necessary arrangements for health precautions and learning continuity.

All education actors should be appreciated more for the key roles they play in navigating this crisis. They have adapted their practices, while remaining emotionally available for all learners throughout the process. We need to keep ensuring that education actors are protected, supported and recognised.

Through this international conference, Educaid.be wants to share good practices, building bridges in the era of digitization, and call on governments  to ensure continued learning for all during and after this crisis – without losing sight of the most vulnerable. Build back better.