This guide provides targeted inputs to ensure continuity of learning during school closures, and comprehensive, timely and evidence-based plans for reopening schools in a way that is safe, gender-responsive and child-friendly, and meets the needs of the most marginalised girls.
It considers four dimensions of school closures, highlighted in the diagram below, covering learning; health, nutrition and WASH, protection and teachers. The guide presents recommendations for these four dimensions along a continuum which considers the distinct actions needed prior to school reopening, as part of the school reopening process, and when schools have reopened, recognising that schools may close again to respond to subsequent waves of the pandemic. It is for this reason that the guide emphasises an approach to ‘build back equal’ through gender-responsive measures that transform education systems, prioritise resilience and address the key bottlenecks and barriers to girls’ education, including:
- Gender-responsive data and evidence to inform action, including data disaggregated by sex and gender-responsive monitoring to identify promising practices to promote gender equality.
- Policies, laws and plans to advance girls’ rights, including the removal of discriminatory practices that impede girls’ educational participation and completion, and ability to apply their learning
- Sustained financing to achieve results, protecting education financing for girls’ education, alongside health, social protection and economy recovery initiatives with an equity lens.
UNESCO, United Nations Children’s Fund, PLAN International, United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, & Malala Fund. (2020). Building back equal: girls back to school guide.