A major secondary effect of the pandemic is the creation of a global education crisis. UNESCO estimates that over 1.5 billion children worldwide are currently out of school in over 180 countries.
In response, UNESCO has launched the Global Education Consortium, a network of public and private sector organizations coordinating to address global education challenges. The Consortium includes multilaterals (WHO, UNHCR, ILO), private sector (Microsoft, Facebook, Zoom, Coursera), philanthropies (Khan Academy, Sesame Street), and many others.
As part of the initiative, UNESCO has published resource lists of online tools as well as a best practices guide on distance education.
One major challenge is that many children do not have access to online resources. In a number of countries (and some states in the US), instruction is now happening by television and in some cases by radio.
If there were a silver lining to this rapid shift to online learning, it is that as broadband reaches more communities in coming years, online resources will be better developed due to the challenges the world now faces with education during a pandemic.