The State of Global Learning Poverty

2022 update

Children attending class


The world is in the depths of a learning crisis, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report finds that COVID-19-related school closures and other disruptions have sharply increased learning poverty, a measure of children unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10. The report, The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update, a joint publication of the World Bank, UNICEF, FCDO, USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and in partnership with UNESCO, stresses that even before the pandemic, there was already a learning crisis. Since then, COVID-19 has sharply increased learning poverty, with COVID-driven school disruptions exacerbating the severe pre-pandemic learning crisis.

The report reiterates the call for governments to take RAPID action to:

  • Reach every child and keep them in school
  • Assess learning levels regularly
  • Prioritize teaching the fundamentals, as the building blocks of lifelong learning
  • Increase the efficiency of instruction including through catch-up learning
  • Develop psychosocial health and wellbeing so every child is ready to learn


Learn more about how UNICEF is advocating on the learning crisis.

State of Global Learning Poverty 2022
World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, USAID, FCDO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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